What Can We Learn About Depression From Van Gogh?

In the late 1800’s, along with hundreds of years before that and even hundreds of years after, mental illness was/is still misunderstood and not taken very seriously by others. In some cases if you have a mental breakdown, you would still have to come into work the next day; If you hurt yourself in any physical way, then you should take all the time you need to recover. Suicides caused from Mental Illness have plagued the earth since long before we knew what to even call them. It was absurd to see people kill themselves then, and now it’s just common to watch a child get ridiculed to the point that they feel suicide is the only option. Mental Illness is crippling no matter what century you were born into, trying to be able to fight your own mind seems downright impossible. Putting our heads into the present time, I believe it can be agreed that Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most commonly known Artists of his time. Although Vincent was extremely talented, he was also terribly burdened with all the mental problems he carried on his shoulders. Back then, no one had an explanation for the way he acted but more of an immediate solution (throwing him inside of an insane asylum) but with all the knowledge we possess today, it’s easier to understand why Vincent Van Gogh just couldn’t stand another second inside his own mind.

One bullet was all it took to rid this world of one of the most influential painters, and it’s even more shocking to know that Vincent was the one to pull the trigger. In reality, it’s not that surprising knowing his mental background. Vincent Van Gogh suffered from multiple problems, including: Epilepsy, Depression, Manic Depression/Bi-Polar, Thujone Poisoning, Hypergraphia, and many more. But with Vincent Van Gogh being more than aware of his mental disorders, continued to further alternate his mental state. For example: Vincent would drink so much absinthe each and every day and sometimes find a simple joy in consuming his paints instead of using them. "If you know that it is dangerous for you to have colours near you, why don't you clear them away for a time, and make drawings?" said by his always caring brother, Theo Van Gogh. Vincent’s brother was always there for him, financially and even mentally; receiving hundreds of letters from Vincent about the mass amount of feelings/emotions that would eventually drive Vincent to find the act of suicide more comforting than terrifying.

I personally believe that the most interesting facts about people in general are how they perceived life to be, how they understood the world to turn. Van Gogh has always been a huge inspiration to me as a freelance artist because of the dedication he spent on his artwork, despite the countless time his depression must of tried to pin him down. Being someone who lives with many mental disorders, I find myself always pushing the fact that they are an important subject to discuss so that someone isn’t ending their life every 40 seconds. Vincent Van Gogh might just be one broad example of someone who suffered horribly from mental illness, but thousands of people probably had it worse than him and never got recognized for their bravery, even after their death. Mental Illness often gets looked over, and before you know it someone has

inspirational as Vincent Van Gogh goes from eating yellow paint in order to have happiness sit inside of him, to putting a gun to his head. Always be there for others, and support them as needed because a broken leg is just as horrible as a scrambled mind.
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