Vincent van Gogh's health

Vincent Van Gogh's Health

Vincent van Gogh's health

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There is no consensus on Vincent van Gogh's health. His death in 1890 occurred after a self-inflicted bullet wound. Many competing hypotheses have been put forward about possible medical conditions he had. These include epilepsy, bipolar disorder, sunstroke, acute intermittent porphyria, lead poisoning and Ménière's disease.

Symptoms and characteristics

Various symptoms are described in Van Gogh's letters and other documents such as the asylum register at Saint-Rémy. The symptoms include: poor digestion and a bad stomach, hallucinations, nightmares, stupor, absent mindedness, impotence, insomnia, and anxiety. Van Gogh suffered from some sort of seizures or crises, and in one of these attacks cut off a part of his ear. "It can be said that with the exception of the sister-in-law Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, who had family-related reasons for playing down the injury, not a single witness speaks of a severed earlobe. On the contrary, the mutually independent statements by the principal witness Paul Gauguin, the prostitute who was given the ear, the gendarme who was on duty in the red-light district, the investigating police officer and the local newspaper report, accord with the evidence that the artist’s unfortunate “self-mutilation” involves the entire (left) ear. The existing handwritten and clearly worded medical reports by three different physicians, all of whom observed and treated Vincent van Gogh over an extended period of time in Arles as......
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