Jesse Jackson Jr., Mental Health and Life Choices

At the Huffington Post, Monica A. Coleman says that she knows from personal experience that the way the congressman handled his bipolar II disorder took strength. 

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At the Huffington Post, Monica A. Coleman says that she knows from personal experience that the way the congressman handled his bipolar II disorder took strength.

When Jackson's office and family revealed that Jackson was being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar II, the media took this as an opportunity to both educate the public about mental health challenges -- even citing other members of Congress who live openly with depressive conditions -- and to speculate about the cause of Jackson's condition. Is it connected to the stress of his position? His previous gastric bypass surgery? The ongoing ethics investigation?

As an African American who lives with a bipolar depressive condition, I've eagerly followed the stories. There are so few public figures -- especially African American -- who live out loud with their mental health challenges. I was hoping that the revelations about Jackson would reduce the stigma and silence around mental health. Especially in July which is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Rather than feeling proud, educated and triumphant, I've been riled by most of the reporting in the mainstream media.

Read Monica A. Coleman's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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