Patrick Kennedy II Bipolar Disorder, Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy on Thursday visited Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who is being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder, a clinic spokeswoman said.
“They did have a private visit and they weren’t doing any media around it,” said Traci Klein, spokeswoman for the clinic in Rochester, Minn. “That’s all we were told about it.”
Kennedy, a former Democratic congressman from Rhode Island, has long discussed his struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. After a much-publicized car accident on Capitol Hill in 2006, Kennedy was treated at Mayo for an addiction to painkillers. A son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy now is an advocate on mental health issues.
Jackson, D-Ill., has been on medical leave since June 10. The Mayo Clinic announced this week that Jackson has bipolar II disorder, which is the milder form of the condition.
Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6, but aides have given no timetable for his return to work.
Kennedy told The Associated Press on Thursday that he and Jackson met for more than an hour. He said Jackson is facing a deep depression and has a lot of work ahead of him to reach a full recovery, according to the AP. Kennedy did not immediately respond to a Tribune call for comment.
Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, 7th, wife of the congressman, issued a statement about Kennedy through spokesman Kevin Lampe: “My husband is grateful for his friendship. He and Jesse have a long history in Congress together.”