284. Vincent van Gogh’s Mental Illness

Van Gogh

Those who have studied Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) are well aware that he had an eccentric personality and unstable moods, committing suicide at the age of 37. Less known is that he suffered from depression and that there are bipolar aspects to his history. Two noted episodes of depression were followed by sustained periods of increasingly high energy and enthusiasm, first as an evangelist and then as an artist. Some of his greatest works came from the manic stages of his life.

A noted educator of bipolar disorder, having that condition himself, once told me, “When I’m depressed, I wish I were dead; when I’m manic, everyone else wishes I were dead.” There’s a lot of truth to his joke. Van Gogh was insufferable when in his manic stages and morose when depressed.


About Patrick Day

triumphoverdepression.org This blog is my ministry to support those who are depressed, in gratefulness for my having overcome major depression. Read "About Patrick Day" just to the right of "home" on the top of the blog site to find out more particulars about me. I retired from a career in higher education, where I served as Dean of Instruction, and promptly moved into a life of purposelessness and despair for five years, finally coming out on the other side. I am now an author, a business and life coach, a writer of this blog, and a volunteer for various organizations. What I write about in this blog is not hypothetical comments on depression. I have been there, felt the horrible pain, had my life disrupted, and experienced everything that I write about. I pray that I may be a blessing to you.
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