The University of Cincinnati’s Christopher Tuell has extensively studied the mental health struggles of President Abraham Lincoln and recently was featured in a Fox News article analyzing Lincoln’s depression.
“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,” said Tuell, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience in UC’s College of Medicine and clinical director of addiction services at UC Health’s Lindner Center of HOPE. “Lincoln led this nation through its worst crisis, while at the same time battling his own internal war of chronic depression.”
Tuell said genetics and the loss of several loved ones early in his life may have played a role in what was known at the time as Lincoln’s “melancholy.”
“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 said. “Bereavement in childhood can be one of the most significant factors in the development of depressive illness in later life.”
Featured photo at top of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo/Josue Aguazia/Unsplash.