Only in politics can an employee be absent for more than a month without telling his boss why, and yet continue to draw a paycheck.
That employee is Illinois Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the race mongering Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jr’s boss are the Chicago voters who had voted him to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Jr. hasn’t been seen on Capitol Hill or anywhere since June 10.
On June 26, his office finally issued a statement that Jackson Jr. was suffering from “exhaustion” and would take a “medical leave of absence” to receive treatment for the condition. No date was given for his return.
On July 11, Jackson’s office claimed the Congressman is being treated for a “mood disorder” at an undisclosed inpatient facility.
More weeks passed.
On July 27, National Enquirer reports that a source close to the Jackson family revealed that “At first we thought he was simply exhausted. But after five weeks of extensive evaluation, doctors diagnosed Jesse Jr. with bipolar disorder.”
The next day, Jason Keyser of the Associated Press reports that Jackson is being treated in the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for depression and a “gastrointestinal issue.”
Keyser notes that the announcement was made by the Mayo Clinic late Friday during the national broadcast of the Olympics’ opening ceremony, when public attention was more likely fixed half a world away. As in the past, the statement gave scant details — no information on the nature of Jackson’s depression, where he was being treated prior to arriving at the Mayo Clinic or his progress. Nor is there word on how long Jackson might remain at the Mayo Clinic.
Then on August 13, 2012, the story once again changed. The Mayo Clinic now admits that Jackson Jr. doesn’t have a depression — he has bipolar disorder.
In other words, a supermarket tabloid, the National Enquirer, scooped the MSM by more than 2 weeks! The Enquirer also broke the story of former Democratic senator and VP candidate John Edwards’ adultery and “love child” when the MSM simply refused to investigate or even report on his tawdry extramarital affair. Of course, if Edwards were a Republican, the regular media would have been all over the story from day one.
The timing of Jackson’s medical leave has raised questions, in part because Jackson is facing an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Bipolar and depression are both mood disorders. So what’s a mood disorder?
According to the National Institutes on Health (NIH), a 2005 National Comorbidity Survey-Replication study found that about 20.9 million American adults, or 9.5% of the population ages 18 and older, have mood disorders. These include major depressive disorder; dysthymic disorder (a chronic, mild depression); and bipolar disorder (also called manic depression). Major depressive disorder is, by itself, the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15–44, according to the World Health Organization.
The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual differentiates between Axis I vs. Axis II disorders.
Axis II are personality disorders like Obama’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Bipolar disorder is something more serious, an Axis I disorder. Axis I disorders are clinical and include the major mental disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar.
Unlike personality disorders like NPD which are treated with talk therapy, mood disorders are considered by the psychological profession to be forms of “severe mental illness,” and so are treated with chemical intervention or drugs.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) defines “severe mental illness” as:
- A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders)
- Diagnosable currently or within the past year
- Of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)
- Resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
According to the NIH’s National Institute on Mental Illness, nearly 4.5% of US adults in 2008 are severely mentally ill. Among them, 2.6% of US adults in a 12-month period have bipolar disorder, 82.9% of these (or 2.2% of US adults) are severely bipolar. Altogether, 3.9% of US adults have a lifetime prevalence of bipolar.
So what exactly is bipolar disorder? From mentalhealth.com:
Bipolar I Disorder is one of the most severe forms of mental illness and is characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and (more often) depression. The condition has a high rate of recurrence and if untreated, it has an approximately 15% risk of death by suicide. It is the third leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 years, and is the 6th leading cause of disability (lost years of healthy life) for people aged 15-44 years in the developed world. Bipolar I Disorder affects both sexes equally in all age groups and its worldwide prevalence is approximately 3-5%.
Bipolar I Disorder may develop psychotic symptoms. [Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality. Psychotic symptoms include hallucination, visual or auditory; delusions; and impaired cognitive functioning.] The psychotic symptoms in Bipolar I Disorder only occur during severe manic, mixed or depressive episodes. In contrast, the psychotic symptoms in Schizophrenia can occur when there is no mania or depression. Poor recovery is more common after psychosis.
Since antidepressant medication can trigger mania, antidepressant medication should always be combined with a mood-stablizer or antipsychotic medication to prevent mania.
Research has shown that the most effective treatment is a combination of supportive psychotherapy, psychoeducation, and the use of a mood-stabilizer (often combined with an antipsychotic medication). There is no research showing that any form of psychotherapy is an effective substitute for medication.
See also Wikipedia’s entry on bipolar disorder.
But the anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs used to treat bipolar disorder carry their own horrible side-effects and risks, including cardiometabolic toxicity. The word “cardiometabolic” refers to heart disease and metabolic disorders such as diabetes and hypertension.
To conclude, the Mayo Clinic’s admission that Jesse Jackson Jr. has bipolar disorder is serious news and should have been widely publicized.
Put simply, this means a serving member of Congress is severely mentally ill and is being treated with heavy-duty anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs with scary side-effects. Those who are bipolar become grandiose (i.e., hyper narcissistic) in their manic phases. Not a good thing for someone who wields political power. And yet, no one in Jackson Jr’s Chicago district or anywhere else in America is demanding that this severely mentally ill man resign from office.
P.S. Conservatives and Republicans may have dodged the bullet when Newt Gingrich didn’t win the requisite number of GOP primaries to be the party’s presidential nominee, because there is credible information out there that Gingrich is bipolar. His mother was bipolar and there is a big hereditary component to the disorder.