Imagine being invited to a dinner party where these people were on the guest list: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Schumann, Ludwig von Beethoven, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain and Vincent van Gogh When you arrive Schumann and Beethoven are discussing the movements in their most recent musical compositions, Poe and Twain are listening to Van Gogh talk about the meaning of his art, while Roosevelt and Lincoln discuss politics.

You wonder to yourself why these people are here. After all, this is a fundraiser to help people suffering from depression. Maybe they all have someone in their family who suffers from depression? The time arrives during the dinner for speeches by special guests. You are shocked as one by one each of these famous people describes their own battle with depression. Lincoln even quotes from a letter he wrote to a friend some years earlier:

“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better it appears to me.” He encourages everyone to persevere, for he says, some years later he wrote this in another letter: “The year that is drawing toward the close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. These bounties are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.”


Source: based on information found in an article by Liora Nordenberg “Dealing with the Depths of Depression” at US Federal Drug Administration website. Final Lincoln quote found at