Feeling sad or disappointed once in a while is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. But if a certain kind of emptiness has overtaken your life and refuses to go away, it could be a sign of depression. If you constantly feel hopeless and helpless, and if you’ve lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy, you might be suffering from a deeper illness: depression! We all experience disappointment during various occasions in life: troubled marriage, poor job evaluation, death of loved ones, health issues, social and romantic snubs, husband’s or wife’s coldness in bed. Many of us get up, dust ourselves and move on. There are some, who fail to do so. They get caught in a whirlpool of sad emotions and end up – depressed.
Why we should take #depression seriously
Depression has caused a lot of deaths in the recent times. From reasons as silly as “failing in board exams” to “he does not love me”, teenagers and adults alike are letting #stress affect them greatly. Over 300 million people ranging from kids to old folks suffer from depression as of 2018.
A lot of people tend to dismiss individuals suffering from depression with statements like, “Get over it” or “You will be fine” or “Don’t spoil the mood”. This is by far the fastest way to hurt a depressed person and push them deeper into the pit.
Imagine being in a situation where you cannot relish life despite having pretty much everything at your disposal. Yes, that’s what depression, the silent killer, does to you. It makes you forget how to be happy.
Over 13 percent of Americans take antidepressants. The numbers are scary. Severe depression interferes with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy your life. Depression at its peak, leads to suicide.
In March 2015, film actor Deepika Padukone broke the silence and stigma around depression by sharing her struggle against the mental illness.
In early 2014, while I was being appreciated for my work, one morning, I woke up feeling different. A day earlier, I had fainted due to exhaustion; it was all downhill from there. I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach.
I thought it was stress. So I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often.
There were days when I would feel okay, but at times, within a day, there was a roller-coaster of feelings. Finally, I accepted my condition. The counseling helped, but only to an extent. Then, I took medication, and today I am much better.”
Deepika’s account shows that the first step to overcoming the problem is to identify it.
Does handwriting really indicate depressive traits?
Many people have asked me if it is possible to find out through handwriting analysis if someone is depressed or not. The answer is an emphatic yes.
In graphology, the science of handwriting analysis, there are several indicators which point to the writer’s depression.
- The overall direction of the baseline and the frequent rise and fall of words indicates depression. Caused by confusion and stress, this is further shown by strokes with variable size and shape of letters.
- Crossing the T bars really low on the stem
Let me share a real life case study of a friend who I discovered was suffering from PTSD and depression through a sample of her handwriting.
A Real Life Incident
When I was learning handwriting analysis in Calcutta, I used to bank heavily on my friends and office colleagues for their handwriting samples so that I could practice. While most of them cooperated, there was one friend who promised to give me her handwriting sample but never did. She just kept delaying. After much persuasion, I succeeded in getting her to submit a sample. Much to my shock, I discovered that the person behind the smiling face was like a frightened child with a traumatic childhood who believed nothing will work out for her. She felt cheated in her relationship because she had slept with her boyfriend who was now shamelessly exhibiting post-sex symptoms commonly found in cads.
Also Read: Geetika’s suicide note tells what could have gone wrong with her
Stalked by a feeling of sexual guilt coupled with the darkness that “engulfed” her future, she had become enormously depressed and was also contemplating suicide. Worse, she did not look beyond the relationship and refused to look at other options.
I took it upon myself to calm her and give her some hope – in the form of a supporting friend as well as some graphotherapy exercises. She promised she’d practice them seriously.
Six months later, I discovered that she had gathered the courage to dump the scoundrel! What’s more, she had found a great person who she was getting married to. I never asked her if she had done the exercises. Just seeing her move on to better life made me happy.
I can’t show you her handwriting, but I will surely tell you how I saw at once that she was depressed. The baseline (the imaginary straight line on which alphabets rest) of her handwriting was consistently going downhill. (See an imitation of her writing here). The other factor which complicated matters for her was the way she crossed her t-bars: they were really low on the stem (see in picture given below).
According to graphology, people with low t-bars in their handwriting get shaken up by even the smallest and silliest of problems in life. They usually indulge in self-blame and are often unable to leave the failures behind. They believe that they deserve the wrongs that have happened to them, that they are jinxed and do not deserve to live.
If you feel this way, talk to somebody about it. If you think somebody else might be thinking this way, ask them about it.
You might save a life — your own or someone else’s.
On the other hand, a person with high t-bars has a greater efficiency to fight and struggle to survive. Such a person possesses the strength to unload the baggage of the past.
Likewise, if downhill baseline is indicative of depression and unhappiness, an uphill slant reflects utter optimism. Such writers always believe that things will for sure be better in future. And they are more successful too because they are always positive in their approach.
*Reposted with relevant updates