Vincent Van Gogh and Lessons About Persistence and Mental Illness

vangoghVincent Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists in history. We recently celebrated World Bipolar Day on his birthday. It is no surprise his painting Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for a staggering $82,500,000.

Many would believe this painter must have lived enjoying the success of his beautiful art. The reality is for almost all of his life he was considered mentally ill and financially broke. His family and friends didn’t know what to do with him.

Vincent continued to paint despite being broken hearted, placed in a horrible asylum and being shunned by many in his inner circle. They say his art was a huge outlet for the problems and struggles he experienced.

In only 37 years, he completed more than 2,100 works including 860 oil paintings and over 1,300 watercolors. He is now remembered as possibly the greatest artist of his day.

The lesson we can learn is to never give up hope. He was born in a time where we didn’t understand how to help those with mental illness. These days there are so many treatments and options to work through your situation.

I know in my own experience, it took several years to regain my sanity. The terrific doctors, therapy, family and treatment gave me back my ability to function. Maybe the next amazing artist will be able to live fully without the trauma Vincent Van Gogh faced.

There are so many creative and talented individuals who face a mental illness. The stigma is growing less each year. We often read of well known performers finally being open and honest that they too face these situations. We can come together and take the shame out of an illness that is not our choosing.

Please know you can overcome the issues that hold you back. Many of us feel scared or nervous that we are different. In so many ways we are the same and often go through challenges that make life difficult. When you learn to move forward it possible to be on a path to wellness.

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