Jesse Jackson, Jr. "completely debilitated by depression," wife says

In this Oct. 16, 2011, file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington.
AP Photo
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

(CBS News) Though currently receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic for having become "completely debilitated by depression," Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., has every intention to return to work, maybe before September's Democratic National Convention, according to his wife, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson.

Responding to rumors that Jackson, who collapsed at the couple's Washington, D.C., home on June 10, had attempted suicide or was fighting alcohol and drug addiction, Mrs. Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times, "No, no, none of that is true." She said her husband's depression, "which has not yet been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder," could be a result of his 2004 weight-loss surgery.

"His body was just worn out. I never really wanted him to have the gastric surgery in the first place," Mrs. Jackson said. "He called and told me not to worry, but it was obvious he was suffering from a form of depression."

Mrs. Jackson, commuting frequently between Chicago and the clinic in Minnesota, said their children speak with her husband "first thing in the morning and the last thing at night." She said the congressman has good and bad days, and is "now gaining weight and eating and feeling better in that sense, but he is still very depressed."

Whether Jackson will be able to return to work before Labor Day and attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in early September is "up to the doctors," Mrs. Jackson said, "but we should know soon."

"I fully expect him to return to work, but not a day before the doctor says it's OK," she said. "And although he has talked about teaching, he's focusing on going back to work, back to his job. He is a gifted legislator."

  • Lindsey Boerma On Twitter»

    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for