U.S. Presidents and Mental Illness | Choose Joy

I know this article is a bit late posting, but I feel that in honor of President’s Day, we need to look a little closer at the men that have had such an impact on U.S. history. The leaders of the free world were far from infallible (we all know that) but the things they couldn’t control—their mental health—was another matter. According to Psychology Today, half of the U.S. presidents had some sort of mental health issue. Half. And yet they managed so much.

Presidents, Their Mental Ailments, and Their Accomplishments:

  • Thomas Jefferson: Anxiety. He was one of the main authors of The Declaration of Independence. That’s a document that will live in human history forever.
  • James Madison: Depression. He also happened to be the Father of the Constitution, the brilliant mind behind a government system with three separate and equal branches.
  • John Quincy Adams: Depression. He supported freedom of speech and abolition. He helped pave the way for Abraham Lincoln.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Depression. He’s considered one of the greatest U.S. presidents largely because of his abolition of slavery. Plus, he was an amazing orator.
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Bipolar. He loved the outdoors and was the impetus behind much conservation at the time.

These are only a few of the U.S. presidents and their issues. There are more, many more. And do you know what? That’s okay because no one’s perfect and more of us suffer from mental health issues than we realize. These men managed to lead the most powerful nation on Earth while dealing with depression, anxiety, and other problems. They weren’t demigods or superheroes; they were men. If they could do it, we can too.

Choose Joy.




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