Abraham Lincoln is a powerful mental health hero for me. Whenever I doubt that I can do anything meaningful in this life with a defective brain (and entire nervous system, actually, as well as the hormonal one), I simply pull out Joshua Wolf Shenk’s classic, “Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness.” Or I read the CliffsNotes version: the poignant essay, “Lincoln’s Great Depression” that appeared in The Atlantic in October of 2005.
Every time I pick up pages from either the article or the book, I come away with new insights. This time I was intrigued by Lincoln’s faith — and how he read the Book of Job when he needed redirection.
I’ve excerpted the paragraphs below from the article on Lincoln’s faith, and how he used it to manage his melancholy.