Abraham Lincoln’s Depression Essay

2506 words - 11 pages

Little do most people know, our sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln, suffered from a depression also known as Melancholy. Lincoln was, considered by most, one of our greatest Presidents. As a U.S. president, Lincoln had many great accomplishments. For example he had a vital role in preserving the Union during the Civil War, he ended slavery, had good speeches and letters and was very humble. On the outside “Honest Abe” was a strong, intelligent man. On the inside, he was falling apart. Few people these days and in this century know of Lincoln’s condition while he was in office. Oddly though, Lincoln was very open about his depression while running for office. Because the public knew about his condition, many people wonder if it had any effect on the peoples voting preference. He won the election so apparently the people didn’t care. Some people became curious of Lincoln’s case and if depression ran in his family or if it was just something that came up. Abraham Lincoln’s

Melancholy is the perfect scenario of how broken people can be on the inside but seem perfectly fine on the outside. Did Abraham Lincoln suffer with depression in the early years of his life or did he just come down with it as he got older? Well many historians have found that Lincoln was diagnosed as a young man to suffer from Melancholy. If he had been suffering for a while, how did he learn to cope with being sad all the time? Could you imagine being sad most of the time and just having to deal with it and go on with life? It would be very hard. Since Lincoln was diagnosed as a young man, throughout his life he suffered many breakdowns. His break downs consisted of him saying things like “I am the most miserable man living,” and often talked about committing suicide. Unfortunately, he didn’t have to kill himself because after Lincoln was elected for his second term John Wilkes Booth murdered him; that is a whole other story though. As Lincoln’s life went on, he continued to live a difficult life in his depressed state.

Many people wonder how a man suffering from such a deep condition of Melancholy would be elected two times. Author Joshua Wolf Shenk, who wrote Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness, says he believes Lincoln’s condition may have helped him in the election and just in politics in general rather than hurt him. Because Lincoln was open to the public about his Melancholy, many Americans gave him sympathy and drew people towards him. Wouldn’t you be curious about a man who was running for your country’s president and was openly telling you about his depression? Apparently the people who voted for president in the 1860s thought it was okay to have a depressed president.

Abraham Lincoln was elected for his first term in 1860 and served until 1864. After the first term he was re-elected. Shortly after he was sworn into office for his second term in 1865, he was assassinated. Apparently someone didn’t like the thought...

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