Jesse Jackson Jr. is in a deep depression and has a lot of work to do before he can get well, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy said after an emotional meeting with his old friend at the Mayo Clinic yesterday. The Illinois congressman, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was initially reluctant to seek help, Kennedy says. Jackson "has a lot of work to continue to do to be able to learn how to treat this illness in the most effective way possible," Kennedy tells the AP. "Depression is a serious thing, and I'm glad that he's taking it seriously."
Kennedy, who has also suffered from depression, decided not to seek re-election in 2010. "It was clear we both had the same feelings of dejection and self-doubt and being in a situation where we thought we had let people down and let ourselves down," Kennedy says. During their talk, Jackson discussed the pressure he has felt to resign or not seek re-election. "He's worried about his political future," Kennedy says. "I tried to emphasize there is a future."