Vincent van Gogh Mood disorder and Asperger’s syndrome.

The evidence for Vincent van Gogh’s mood disorder has been extremely well documented.  This article suggests that in addition he had a dual diagnosis that is Asperger’s disorder as well.  He had an unhappy early life and had behaviour problems in childhood. His father was described as being as cold as iron by A. J. Lubin.  Even as a child he was a strange person and could not cope with normal school. He showed evidence of severe social impairment. In a way he was like an alien on earth. He had a wish for good social interactions but was unable to achieve them.  He was very much a loner. He was also an outsider.  He alienated people.  This was not deliberate but he did not know how to win them over. He was regarded as an eccentric.  He was a workaholic and narrowly focussed on his art. He read books incessantly. He had significant non-verbal behaviour problems.

According to Lubin he often dressed in rags.  He had strange dietary habits.  He was not a fluent speaker.  His suicide was likely to be due to his mood disorder and his Asperger’s syndrome.  Suicide is not rare in these two conditions.  Alternative explanations of his problems have been presented like Meniere’s disease and acute intermittent porphyria but these are not likely as explanations. One of the difficulties in psychiatry is that once a diagnosis is made for example Mood Disorder additional diagnosis like Asperger’s syndrome are then not considered. Mood problems are common in patients with Asperger’s syndrome.