News From World : Though his honesty is his most well-known quality, few people are aware that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, struggled with severe depression during his lifetime.

Dr. Chris Tuell, a clinical psychotherapist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine who specializes in chemical and behavioral addiction, has done a great deal of research on Lincoln’s mental health issues.

“Though the history books play a significant role in our perception and understanding of the ‘rail splitter’ from Illinois, it often becomes easy for us to forget that Abraham Lincoln was very human,” Tuell said on Fox News Digital.

 

“Lincoln led this nation through its worst crisis, while at the same time battling his own internal war of chronic depression.”

This is important to know.

Lincoln’s depressive symptoms

In 1841, at the age of thirty-two, Lincoln said, “I am the most miserable man alive.” to John Stuart in a letter. There wouldn’t be a single happy face on the planet if my feelings were shared by every member of the human race. I have no idea if I will ever get better, but I dreadfully fear that I won’t; staying the same is not an option.”

According to Tuell, researchers studying Lincoln have “clear evidence” that he experienced depression episodes starting in his 20s.

“Lincoln’s school teacher, Mentor Graham, stated, ‘Lincoln told me that he felt like committing suicide often,’” Tuell stated. 

Lawyer and historian William Herndon said of him, ‘He seemed like a sorrowful man, dismal and depressed.'” As he strolled, his sorrow was evident.”

It is rumored that Lincoln’s family has a history of depression.

“Historical records indicate that Lincoln’s mother and father were disposed to melancholy and that one side of the family ‘was thick with mental disease,'” Tuell added.

Lincoln lost a number of close relatives when he was a young child.

Lincoln lost his mother, aunt, and uncle when he was just nine years old, following the death of his brother in infancy. Ten years later, his sister passed away giving birth to a stillborn child.

Afterwards, in 1835, Lincoln lost Ann Rutledge, his first love.

He had to deal with the deaths of his two young boys, Eddie and Willie.

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“According to mental health professionals, bereavement in childhood can be one of the most significant factors in the development of depressive illness in later life,” Tuell stated.

Lincoln’s sadness, according to Fox News medical contributor and clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center Dr. Marc Siegel, may have been related to his “intellectual prowess and [his tendency to] see and feel things deeply.”

Lincoln’s approach to depression

Prior to the development of psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs, Lincoln adapted to his melancholy personality, according to Tuell. The psychotherapist told Fox News Digital, “He would often use humor and storytelling to elevate his mood and distract himself from his depression.” 

“Only his closest friends had any insight concerning the extent of his condition.”

Tuell observed that Lincoln had little choice but to learn how to live with his sadness during a time when there was no access to mental health care. 

“The only other option would have been for him to succumb to these adversities,” he stated.

“It doesn’t seem like giving in was in the 16th president’s character. Lincoln persisted and gave this nation eloquent service.”

Lincoln’s day saw the term “melancholy” applied to depression, which was usually treated with opium, a highly addictive opioid derived from the poppy plant (Siegel).

Despite his persistent depression, historians have observed that Lincoln experienced moments of enjoyment because of his sons.

The bestselling author and Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo once said, “We are so used to seeing Abraham Lincoln looking depressed and sad, that we forget — and the historical record is clear on this — he would break down in laughter when playing with his boys or observing the mayhem they created.”

“The Magnificent Mischief of Tad Lincoln,” one of the books in his Turnabout Tales series, was written by him.

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