Vincent Van Gogh

Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Bipolar disorder, Absinthe Pages: 2 (1245 words) Published: October 27, 2014

Vincent Van Gogh, genius or madman? ‘The connection between genius and mental illness is paradoxically both clearer and murkier than that between genius and high intelligence.’ (Published on March 31, 2011, Andrew Robinson) Van Gogh, possibly the most famous example of a known genius who beared the title of a mentally ill individual, had severe depression, inflicted serious injury on his own earlobe in the year of 1888, admitted himself to a mental facility, and shot himself in 1890, yet he is one of the most respected and well known men of our time, all because of his unmistakable and ingenious art work. Van Gogh's recurrent mental derangements were never in suspicion, not by himself nor his family. However, his sanity was never questioned either. Vincent Van Gogh was a known madman; it was never in question to anyone, not even himself, “I am unable to describe exactly what is the matter with me; now and then there are horrible fits of anxiety, apparently without cause, or otherwise a feeling of emptiness and fatigue in the head.…”. (Vincent Van Gogh, date unknown) Van Gogh had been diagnosed with many conditions, illnesses and mental instabilities. Some being epilepsy, bipolar disorder, depression, psychotic episodes, and unpredictable mood swings. Doctors including Dr. Peyron and Dr. Felix Rey believed that Van Gogh’s epileptic seizures were occurring due to temporal lobe epilepsy. He was born with a brain laceration that was thought to of been intensified by his recurrent consumption of absinthe, this is what is believed to have caused his epileptic condition. Enthusiasm and dedication were standout characteristics in Van Gogh’s personality. Impulsive behaviour was a prominent factor in his life, though these periods were on every occasion trailed by depression and exhaustion. Therefore, doctors and specialists concluded that manic depression or bipolar disorder was a component of Van Gogh’s life. His bipolar disease is also what lead to his suicidal...

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