van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 3 letters relate to health - psychological...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(6 July 1882)
... to reality here at The Hague this winter. I then felt an inexpressible melancholy inside, which I cannot possibly describe. I know that then I often, often thought of a manly saying of father Millet's: Il m'a toujours semblé que le suicide était une action de malhonnête homme. [It has always seemed to me that suicide was the deed of a dishonest man.] The emptiness, the unutterable misery within me made me think, Yes, I can understand people drowning themselves. But I was far from approving this, I found strength in the above-mentioned saying, and thought it much better to take heart and find a remedy in work. And you know how I put this into practice. It is hard, very hard, aye, quite impossible to consider last year's love an illusion, as Father and Mother do, but I say, “Though it will never be, it might have been.” It was not illusion, but our viewpoints differed, and circumstances took such a turn that our paths diverged farther...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(19 July 1882)
... does me more good than my pills, etc. As for my constitution - Tersteeg is not my physician and he does not understand my constitution in the least - when I want information on the subject, I shall go to my own doctor and ask for it, but I absolutely refuse to discuss it with him any more. But it is certain that there are few things more harmful either to the woman or to myself than visits like that one we just went through. Avoiding these is absolutely one of the first medical orders I shall have to carry out. Never has a doctor told me that there was something abnormal about me in the way and sense Tersteeg dared to tell me this morning. That I was not able to think or that my mind was deranged. No doctor has told me this, neither in the past nor in the present; certainly I have a nervous constitution, but there is definitely no real harm in that. So those were serious insults on Tersteeg's part, just as they were on Pa's, but even worse, when he wanted to send me to...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(2 January 1889)
... you, in my turn, on his account. I am happy to tell you that my predictions have been realized and that this over-excitement has only been temporary. I strongly feel that he will be himself in a few days. I have made a point of his writing to you himself, to tell you in his own words his condition. I made him come down to my office to talk for a bit. It will entertain me and it will do him good. Please accept my kind regards, I am, yours very truly, Rey ...

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