SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 146, 31, (2002), pp. 1441-3
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
The cause of the 'borderline personality disorder' of Vincent van Gogh has been discussed in social-psychiatric terms related to so-called 'substitute children', born after the loss of a previous child. A biological-organic genesis, i.e. the very short birth interval of precisely one year between Van Gogh and his older brother appears to be a more plausible explanation. Personality disorders, which are part of the spectrum of schizophrenic disorders, seem to belong to the very broad 'continuum of reproductive casualties' and to be caused by non-optimal maturation of the oocyte during the postpartum restoration of the ovulatory pattern. This continuum occurs during each of the transitional stages of reproductive life in which the maturation of the oocyte is constrained and consists of chromosomal aberrations, (discordant) monozygotic twins, early and late foetal death, preterm births, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital abnormalities, perinatal and neonatal mortality, cot death, growth and mental defects, and finally, chronic or 'constitutional' diseases. Non-optimal maturation of the oocyte appears to be a risk factor for the reproductive casualties stated.
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