I have an opinion, or thought as well on Vincent's illness. Although, I do not know so much about him (his childhood though would be a clue)and therefore, perhaps you could look up the disorder and let me know if it fits by chance.
It's called Asperger's Syndrome, it is a form of high functioning autism. Self-mutilation, especially when upset or being fustrated when someone does not understand what you are saying or at yourself for not saying exactly what you wanted or the right thing is common (he might also not feel the pain as others do). Also, obsessions, which can change from one or two things or may be just one thing for a life time (his art, this is all he talks about, which is a common trait) He forms attachments only to one or two people . . . others would find such a person rather odd, clothing not quite in fashion (lack of careing about it) . . . . . lack of appetite, also, going thru long periods of not sleeping partially because there seems to be no need and partially because of ones obsession keeping one up . . . to the exclusion of all else.
Depression, very very common as well . . . mostly because one notes the difference and can't explain and is sad about it. It is not possible basically for him to exactly "grasp" religion, but he could get very obsessed with the study and the acting upon, the literal interpretations. As far as I have read, he never "hated" anyone, no matter what. Not really, which also is part of the emotional end of it. He lost people, but, I didn't find that he grieved as one normally would over it. He would become very upset over the rejection of someone he did approach and try to start a relationship with, and might take it out on himself. (very common) The fact that he changed his mind when he went to see someone and had gone such a long way to see them . . . . . to the door even but couldn't bring himself to knock. This too would also be a part of it. Giving away his money . . . . not thinking of ones own needs to the end result of poverty . . . common as well. He wouldn't have thought of it until poverty was upon him, luckily he had someone to ask although, not until it was absolutely necessary though and it grieved him to do it.
Many autistic people are extremely talented (high and lower functioning) in art. Also, many high functioning people try to self medicate, with drugs, something that they find themselves that aleviates the pain. The struggle. Also, epilepsy is common, (seizures of varying kinds from very noticeable those classic seizures one thinks of, to other types that basically only the person might notice)
Also, many autistic people look at the world differently. Colors are very important . . . and especially the concentration of one color might seem very attractive, for some reason the starry night picture reminds me of a book by an autistic girl who said the stars looked like swirls of lights. The way he describes colors, especially his attraction to yellow. Well, anyway, I've studied it a long time and most people who are diagnosed with this go thru many many differing diagnosis before coming to this final one. And each person would carry differing traights as well, no one or two people have the same symptoms, one might have one, over the other. One may be overly shy, the other not at all.
It was a thought anyway.
Return to main Van Gogh Gallery page