It was recently announced that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is suffering from bipolar II disorder. This announcement has caused many people to weigh in on his condition, including former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy has stated that Jackson is in a “deep” depression and has “a lot of work” ahead of him while he sets about recovering. This statement by Kennedy came after he visited Jackson in the hospital on August 16, 2012.

This all came about after it was revealed that Jackson had taken a secretive medical leave on June 10 after he collapsed at home. He is receiving treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. There is no word on what treatments he is receiving, although antidepressant medications like Paxil or Effexor are often used for treating bipolar disorders. Patients taking Paxil and Effexor may suffer from some of the drugs’ side effects which include violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Other serious side effects of Paxil use include birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Some of the birth defects caused by Paxil and Effexor include PPHN, oral clefts, spina bifida, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects.

Kennedy has suffered from bipolar disorder himself and was also treated at Mayo, so his visit may be very helpful to Jackson.

“I don’t think people understand the depth of his depression. It’s deep. He 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 told the Associated Press. “Depression is a serious thing, and I’m glad that he’s taking it seriously.”

As for Jackson’s feelings on Kennedy’s visit, his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, issued a statement that was delivered by spokesman Kevin Lampe, “My husband is grateful for his friendship. He and Jesse have a long history in Congress together.”