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» The Edge from Big Brass Blog
Mannion has written an excellent post about Lincoln’s Melancholy, which is a well-known attribute of the man in question as well as a new book. I haven’t read the book, though I intend to, so I won’t comment much on Lincoln, but instead note that I h... [Read More]

» HOPELESS from The Heretik
FALL, WHEN LEAVES FALL FROM THE TREE, when what is bright fades, can be a hopeless time. The art of Roy Lichtenstein always reminds me that the brightness we see on the outside may hide a shadow growing within. [Read More]

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Linkmeister

It's worth the price of a subscription. One of the joys of going to the mailbox is finding the monthly copy of that magazine waiting inside. (Even if they have stopped the fiction section!)

Rasselas

I beg to differ. A magazine that publishes Mark Steyn, and regularly, is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian.

mac macgillicuddy

I just got my copy of the Atlantic Monthly the old fashioned way -- in the P.O. box. That article is very interesting to me, not the least of the reasons being that Abraham Lincoln -- "honest Abe" ("To be honest, Harriett, I'm a mess!") -- has always been one of my favorite presidents (his birthday is the day before mine, as you may know).

I'm going to start a new conspiracy theory here. Or at least one that I have yet to read anywhere else -- even on the web. Lincoln ARRANGED his own assassination.

It's plausible, after reading the article. The end of the war was near, and reconstruction of the South was looming in front of him. A divisive war he could handle -- putting it back together...

In all seriousness, it is a very interesting profile of the one president that everyone, on both sides of the aisle, believes they emulate. Heh.

PS, for those who care, I'm also collecting pictures of Abraham Lincoln -- small, greenish, sometimes crumpled pictures that fit nicely in my wallet. Anyone who has some can send them to me via Lance. He'll be sure to get them to me.

mac macgillicuddy

PS, PS - Lance, One benefit your 21st century friend has over the 19th century Lincoln is that, although there is still not a lot known about clinical depression and its comprehension is still hampered by our culture's somewhat "romantic" view of it, there is enough known about the disease that they are developing new therapies all the time.

Some are pharmaceutical, some are herbal, some are practical (massage therapy, biofeedback, etc).

Perhaps your friend is already taking medication. If it isn't working, that friend should bear in mind that, as with blood pressure medication (for which there are also a wide variety of alternative therapies) there are many drugs and that the first one tried doesn't always do the job.

Viscount LaCarte

Depression runs in my family and in my wife's family.

If your description of your friend is accurate, which seems highly likely, then he is suffering from depression. Textbook symptoms. He is in denial.

The thing is, friends, family etc. have to sit by and watch, because until he accepts it, there is really nothing anyone can do...

MoXmas

This is tangential, but:

With the previous post namechecking The Wayne, and this one discussing Lincoln, I was reminded of a question that maybe you could answer. In June, I was taking my Dad to the VA Hospital in Fort Wayne (eye exam), and to kill time, I visited their award-winning Lincoln Museum. It was as good as advertised. But I couldn't figure out what the connection was. Why have a Lincoln museum in Fort Wayne? As opposed to Springfield, IL, or even parts of Southern Indiana? The only time Fort Wayne is even mentioned in the museum is trivia: on his way to the Cooper Union speech, Lincoln changed trains in Fort Wayne.

More ironically, I found out (in the nearby Fort Wayne Historical Society) that Fort Wayne's county never voted for Lincoln, not in 1860 or '64.

So Lance, any ideas why the leading light of the Wayne built a museum dedicated to Lincoln?

Matthew Morse

Another book you might want to point your friend to is "I Don't Want to Talk About It" by Terrence Real. It's about how depression is typically defined in terms of how women experience it and how men experience depression in different ways because of how we're taught to behave by society.

It's not essential reading, but it does raise some good points.

Rob

Lance,

You stole my post.

grishaxxx

Like ice cream, depression comes in an amazing variety of flavors (some quite exotic), and your friend's perception that, because he's not feeling chocolate or vanilla, he's not clincal is denying just how hungry the Maw of Melancholy can be. It can lick you around the edges now, but one day it will develop a real taste for you, and then it will suck, big time.
Unfortunately, depression seems to be progressive - untreated, it's worse as you get older. I suspect I was having episodes as early as 9, and they would pass, and I thought that this was how everyone felt. Never sat in a corner, staring at the walls; within limits (the safety perimeter contracts when you are down) I could enjoy - even tell - a joke. Tackling a Big Book could tide me over (I'm pretty sure that Proust and Anthony Powell and David Foster Wallace have done their bit, thrown me a rope and drawn me back at various times).
Someday, however, none of that is going to work. No trigger is necessary, and suddenly you are in the perfect depressive storm and all your strategies fail, and by failing draw you deeper. It's not romantic (though, as my prescribing shrink said to me, it can be interesting, if you're self-aware enough to get that far), but it is an agony and a weight on your life.
I was really afraid of medications, afraid of losing my acuity, even the kind of melancholy concentration you describe as Lincoln's in the post. Scared the shit out me, and after I got a prescription (in tandem with talk therapy), it still took me a couple of months to fill it. No specifics here about meds, but I was relieved to find that mine didn't dull me out. As I've described it to friends, the effect was to push back the edge of the jungle to a more manageable distance - the beasts were still there, just not so near, and while I could see them clearly, they were less threatening.
I hope your friend, at the very least, talks to a pro about this - the inventories are very simple - before he must do it. I've been out of therapy and off meds for, yeah, about 3 years now, but the second I heard that great sucking sound again, I'd be right back on. No regrets, not one.

harry near indy

moxmass, iirc, there used to be -- or still may be -- a large insurance company in fort wayne named after lincoln. iirc, and this is all off the top of my head, the founder named it after lincoln because he admired the pres.

check with nancy nall. she used to live in fort wayne, too. she might know more, and the correct info.

Steven Harold - Hypnosis Mp3s

It just shows you that even with what can be a debilitating issue such as depression it won't stop you succeeding.

Cara Fletcher

I'll be very interested to read how the depression has influenced and how he has overcome this state.He's a great politic and one such story would be more than interesting.

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