Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
— Phil Donahue, American writer and film producer
It is a well-rounded statement, and perhaps true as well. But if you can somehow manage to get inside the head of a person with suicidal tendencies, you’ll know that the reason he may decide to kill himself one day is because he sincerely believes his problems are not temporary: they’re permanent. After all, it’s a matter of perspective; it depends on the angle from which you’re looking at the problem.
Yes, we know we’ve talked a great deal about suicides on Write Choice. But no matter how much we write on this subject, there will never be enough. Stories of people losing faith in their lives and committing suicide keep on trickling in. The latest one that grabbed national headlines came from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. A PhD student, Manjula Devak, had decided she could not take the burden of life anymore. The 28-year-old, allegedly being harassed by her husband and in-laws for dowry, had decided kill herself by hanging from a fan.
While Devak’s death has once again fired up a debate on the evils of dowry in the Indian society, it also raises questions about our educational system and how poorly it prepares us for life. After all, since when did hanging by the fan become easier than hanging on to life? Are we seriously acquiring fear of living?
These are indeed some serious questions. And honestly, I don’t know the perfect answer to any of them. However, as a graphologist, I can offer you some insight into how you can see warning or tell-tale signs of suicidal tendencies in the handwriting of your loved ones. Pay close attention.
1. The great depression valley
The pockets that you see in the handwriting sample above denote a deep void in the subconscious mind. This handwriting feature is not an easy catch for an untrained pair of eyes. But it’s a stark indicator of hidden depression. If the slant of the handwriting is leftward, then it’s a sign of withdrawn emotions and feelings. To see if an emotion is expressible or not, one has to look at the slant in the handwriting. A backward slant is a sign of withdrawn emotions. Such writers don’t let even close ones know what’s happening deep down in their thoughts. On the other hand, if the handwriting slants to the right, it shows that the writer is able to share and express his/her frustration.
2. Cutting signature shows suicidal tendencies
A depression valley in handwriting, coupled with a strike-through — vertical or horizontal — in the signature, makes for a deadly indicator of suicidal tendencies. Cutting the signature invariably points to an inclination to undermine your worth and self-eradicate. (We’ve also discussed this handwriting feature in an earlier article on signature analysis.)
3. Sudden drop in baseline
A baseline indicates the goals that you set for yourself in life and the handwriting pressure denotes the vigour with which you pursue or accomplish these goals. When you see a one-off drooping baseline, it is an indication that such people are capable of acting upon their self-destructive thoughts. You may equate the situation with a sudden dip in an aircraft’s altitude, which could be an early sign of a potential crash. Take note, such writers are crying for help.
4. Descending baselines with heavy pressure vs light pressure
A drooping baseline indicates an unhappy state of mind. Whether the person is capable of acting on his suicidal thoughts is measured by the pressure applied while writing. The heavier the pressure, the higher the chances of implementing self-destructive thoughts.
5. Straight baseline with last word or last letter of the word falling
This phenomena occurs when the last letter of a word, or the last word in a sentence, kisses the ground. This calls for immediate action as it’s a red flag. They are the people who may seem calm and composed on the outside, but are capable of taking sudden and impulsive decisions.
I hope you will make use of the indicators given above to identify the suicidal tendencies of a person. And, like always, the usual disclaimer is: To arrive at a conclusion about someone’s personality, you should look for various other parameters in the handwriting.