“Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.” 

As Tchaikovsky moved in circles that contained a fair number of homosexual artists and their patrons, rumours and speculation were rife. A failed engagement to the Belgian soprano Désirée Artôt and various passions for male friends, both gay and straight, were the cause of frequent mood swings, loss of appetite and morbid thoughts. A heavy smoker and drinker, his death in 1893, reportedly from cholera, has always been held to be a potential suicide. [link]

A profile of Tchaikovsky with sad eyes and a short white beard.