Clay Mazurkewich, a candidate for mayor in Saskatoon, says his awkward behaviour during a television debate was due to prescription medication, mixed with a small amount of alcohol.

Mazurkewich, one of three candidates for mayor, said his awkward pauses, slurring and stumbling — which were noted by viewers who then commented on what they saw using social media sites — related to medicine used to treat a condition known as bipolar disorder.

He explained the medication can make him appear drowsy.

Mazurkewich said he also had one beer.

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Clay Mazurkewich says medication for bipolar disorder can make him appear drowsy. He says he took a pill just before a TV debate. (Courtesy: CTV)

"One beer is not going to make me intoxicated," he said. "I took the pill at quarter to six, before I went onstage."

Mazurkewich spoke openly about a difficult divorce in his past that led to a struggle with alcohol for a time, but added his drinking is under control.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, studies show almost 1 in 25 adults may experience an episode of bipolar disorder in his or her lifetime. 

With files from CBC's Dan Zakreski