Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's Traumatic Brain Injury

Abraham Lincoln is one of the most well-known U.S. presidents of all time. There is one detail about his story that is not well known. When he was ten years old, he was kicked in the back of the head by a horse or a mule. Consequently, he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Later in life, Lincoln also suffered from depression, called melancholia, due to his traumatic brain injury. The injury also caused Lincoln to sometimes experience double vision. One night, when he was about to go to bed, he had a vision of two faces facing each other reflected in the glass across from his bed. The faces were both of him. While one was normal, the other one was grey. The shape of his face was also impacted: it was not perfectly symmetrical. The left side of his face above his eye was rounder, thinner, and set back more.


You Are Not Alone

Despite the difficulties that Lincoln faced, he was still able to go on to be one of the most important presidents in American history. Even the president of the United States had suffered problems from brain injury. You are not alone.  He did not even have all of the medical advances that we have today. With modern testing, imaging, and treatments, people are able to receive the quickest and best treatment possible.



Johnson, Gordon. “Learn More About Abraham Lincoln’s TBI.” The Brain Injury Law Group, SC - Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr., 22 June 2016, tbilaw.com/blog/abraham-lincoln-tbi.

Resources by Judy Zhu

Voices of Brain Injury

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