Patrick Kennedy has made his bout with mental illness and addiction a public affair. And we're richer for it - it helped to open the discussion on touchy issues and it proved vitally important in Kennedy's successful quest for parity in health insurance coverage for mental and physical ailments.
Kennedy made a nod to that transparency again with his statement, yesterday, that he has stepped away from his normal routine to seek care and "ensure that I am being vigilant as possible in my recovery."
"I hope in some small way my decision to be proactive and public in my efforts to remain healthy can help remove the stigma that has served as a barrier for many Americans reluctant to get the help they need," he continued.
But there are limits to that transparency, it seems. Kennedy's office declined to release full details yesterday. Some have suggested the Congressman is in for some preventative care. Scott MacKay at WRNI reports that Kennedy has, indeed, relapsed. This is a tricky and personal business. Kennedy has raised public expectations around openness. But it is hard to blame him for wanting to maintain some privacy.