Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) has reportedly been missing from work on Capitol Hill for a month because he is receiving treatment for a "mood disorder," his doctor finally offered Wednesday evening.
"The congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder. He is responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery," read the statement from an anonymous doctor that was issued by Jackson's office.
Moreover, the statement highlighted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, noting that Jackson's privacy is protected under this federal law. In addition to omitting the name of Jackson's attending physician, the statement also did not disclose the name of his treatment center.
The son of outspoken and controversial civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has not voted in the House since June 8, and did not even offer an explanation for his absence until June 25. His office had simply said in a short statement on June 25 that he was being treated for exhaustion, the first time his office had noted that he was sick since he left on June 10.
Wednesday's disclosure that Jackson is battling some kind of mood disorder is likely the result of pressure from fellow Illinois Democrats for an explanation for his extended absence. "As a public official … there reaches a point when you have a responsibility to tell people what you're facing and how things are going," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said earlier this week.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) also weighed in, comparing Jackson's illness to that of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who both battled serious illnesses but have clearly communicated their circumstances. Gutierrez noted that Rush was treated for throat cancer, but "we knew where to find him."
Prior to his absence, Jackson was being investigated by a congressional ethics committee for an alleged bribe in 2008 to disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is now in prison, in exchange for President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.
A source close to Jackson told ABC News earlier this week that the congressman "doesn't get a lot of sleep and he has sleep disorders. He's very energetic, running full-steam ahead, working six or seven days a week often and he's been doing that for a long time.
"There's a great deal of pressure on him due to unfounded allegations [related to the ethics inquiry] and negative press onslaught against him that are not true, so it kinda all caught up to him. He needed downtime to get away from grind."
A congressional source close to Jackson, who requested anonymity, told ABC that Jackson is unlikely to return to work until after Labor Day.