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of course, since there was never a modern psychological profile done on him and we can only speculate, there have been theories that president lincoln was either bipolar or depressed.

what are your thoughts on the subject? i've heard theories on both.

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It kinda irks me though. Is it possible to say that these people were depressed or bipolar when there was no such thing at the time when they lived?. I'd rather say "were he alive today he would most likely meet he diagnostic criteria for . . " or "neuroimaging would likely show reduced activity in the basil ganglia."

Part of our conception of mental illness is the product of social construction. That does not invalidate our experiences in any way. It does mean that the concepts might be socially relative and there could be errors involved in trying to transpose them to cultures of a different time or place.

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Part of our conception of mental illness is the product of social construction. That does not invalidate our experiences in any way. It does mean that the concepts might be socially relative and there could be errors involved in trying to transpose them to cultures of a different time or place.

i guess. i mean with lincoln no, we can't say these things. with teddy, well freud had been around for a bit and they used different terms back then, etc. etc. and churchill was conscious of his illness and of how it came and went. but he was also post freud. etc. go zebras. oops.

but yes, i agree. it's like when people talk about queer culture in medieval history. there was no queer or gay as a category then. i am not saying that there were not people who were homosexual. i'm saying it was not an identity category back then. (and i so bet this will be argued over and i shouldn't say it. but it's the same as gender. gender is a social construction. sexuality is a social construction. identity is a social construction. etc. etc.)

so yeah, mental illness is a social construction, you are right. we can only accurately describe his illness if we couch it within the society he lived.

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