OTTAWA — Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon says he suffered a panic attack last week before he briefly went missing Wednesday night.

Gascon, who has already announced plans to retire in September, says he has long dealt with depression and anxiety and believes the attack was brought on by a “heart-rending career decision” and a change in medication.

In a statement, Gascon says he behaved “in an unprecedented and unaccustomed manner,” going out without warning and staying out of touch for hours.

Ottawa police sent a missing-person alert last Wednesday evening, saying the judge had last been seen in early afternoon heading away from the courthouse near Parliament.

A short time later, they said he had been found safe and sound.

Gascon’s statement says he has received medical treatment, is otherwise in good health, and plans to put the incident behind him.

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