Abe Lincoln

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by jryan3434, Sep 30, 2007.

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  1. jryan3434

    jryan3434 Active Member

    I mentioned Lincoln in a post I replied to recently. As some of you may know, Lincoln suffered with severe depression for most of his life. Reading his story in the book, Lincoln's Melancholy helped me a great deal in finding a sort of role model for how to handle my situation. For those of you who are miserable and depressed, and don't want to solve the problem by drugging yourself with prescription meds, I suggest you read this book. Depressed people will probably readily recognize themselves in him as I did. For me anyway, it was helpful to learn that someone can still achieve respect and value even if they can't achieve happiness. That we don't have to let our depression make us helpless and dependent was important for me to learn.

    Anyway, I just thought I would add a "book of the month" suggestion for us nut cases.

    Cheers.
     
  2. ace

    ace Well-Known Member

    That's a very interesting point and a valid one there have been a few people who have achieved great success while suffering from mental illness.I heard and read somewhere that Albert Einstein suffered from Bi Polar I don't know if that was true but still.
     
  3. jryan3434

    jryan3434 Active Member

    I don't know about Einstein, but there have been many bi-polars who have accomplished alot. The manic stage of the disease can cause certain people to be very productive. I think the key is to have something to channel it into. If you don't, then you are in trouble.

    Depression certainly isn't always a force for productivity, but in some people it is. The stereotype of the miserable alcoholic writer is there for a reason. Faulkner, Hemmingway, Woolf are good examples. I don't think that depressives acomplish a lot while they are in their most severe depressive cycles, but I think that when they come out of them they sometimes have a more realistic outlook on the tragedies of life, and their pain can be a resevoir of creativity to draw from. I also think that at certain times in history, such as in Lincoln and Byron's day, depression was romanticized in a way, and for men was even considered a "manly" characteristic. This increased acceptance, and even romanticism of the condition may have helped certain depressives avoid the social isolation and stigma that often results from the illness today. Today's shrinks will tell you that romanticizing the disease will keep people from seeking treatment. That may be true, but for many, especially men, the abscence of humiliation associated with the stigma could more than make up for it.
     
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