Salvador Dali, Paul Gaugin, Edvard Munch, Jackson Pollock, Michelangelo Buonorroti, and Sylvia Plath all had something in common. They experienced life in duality. Traits such as being open to experience, exploratory, risk taking, and tolerant to ambiguity made them see and feel and understand more, but they also hurt more easily and so were more prone to experience suffering and dark moods.
Munch wrote in his diary: “My fear of life is necessary to me, as is my illness. They are indistinguishable from me, and their distraction would destroy my art.”
Van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother: “I am unable to describe exactly what is the matter with me. Now and then there are feelings of emptiness and fatigue in the head… at times I have attacks of melancholy and of atrocious remorse.”
When we encounter someone who is “different” we should strive not to label them, but rather cultivate an understanding of the privilege to have met someone brave enough to face their demons and wrestle through the dark until the break of dawn.