Graphology: Anorexia in Handwriting
How to identify Eating Disorders in Writing
Anorexia and bulimia are among the so-called eating disorders. These eating disorders represent a health relevant problem in the last decades, since they affect an important percentage of the population.
What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are diseases that manifest through the eating conduct and that present a vast variety of symptoms. They are complex illnesses in which many factors come in: psychological, social, cultural, family and biological. These disorders may manifest mainly during adolescence. Its origin is due to psychological reasons that impact the body, the relationship life of the individual who suffers it, and the family. The majority of parents find it hard to accept that sons and daughters start to get independent as they become adolescents.
These diseases, although they manifest through the eating conduct, are very complex and express disorders or a distortion of the body image of the affected individual. Food is used as a defense mechanism to face painful emotions or to keep control when situations are overwhelming. There is a constant inner fight in the individual, caused by fear of becoming an obese person.
What are the factors that influence the origin of these disorders?
Although it is not possible to predict who has probabilities of suffering an eating disorder, there are characteristics and factors that predispose the suffering of these disorders.
- Family factors: It comes from over-protective, demanding, controlling, even inflexible families, which worry too much about success and aspect of their children. Children do not learn to express their feelings, anxieties and doubts. Instead, they express themselves through body weight and food. They show inconveniences to be fully autonomous and establish an identity. They find it hard to act without family support and to accept changes. They need the family or someone who acts as a reference or model. They look for constant approval in circumstances of change in life (job change, career change, school change, couple change, even in simple situations like acquiring an object or clothes. On occasion, they require the presence of “someone” that will assure that this suits them well). It is more common in women due to the problematic of the body and in “model” children with needs of pleasing the desire of others.
- Biological and genetic factors: Abnormal levels in specific chemical components of the brain predispose some individuals to suffer anxiety, stress, compulsive behavior and thinking.
- Socio-cultural factors: The media, in their advertisements, TV series and social networks associate personal values and success to slender appearance, perfect body and physical beauty are of great influence, causing a great impact, especially in the adolescent population this is not exclusive to adolescents, since nowadays we can see anorexia, vigorexia and bulimia in young adults of both genders that are forced to comply with restrictive diets or excessive exercise that may derive in eating disorders).
- Psychological factors: Those who suffer eating disorders are individuals who have not been able to develop a solid self – esteem, having a weak image of themselves. They are usually perfectionists, self-controlled, and have unrealistic expectations and ambitions. Despite of achieving success in their professional and working environments, they do not feel prepared nor at the “level” of the situation. They have difficulty before changes due to a certain rigidity so as not to change their structure.
It is important to understand that human beings are not born with a self – esteem but that self – esteem is “developed” throughout life.
Read also: Graphotherapy Change your Handwriting
What is self- esteem?
Self – esteem is the appreciation we have of ourselves based on experiences and sensations we collect throughout life. This defines our self – image or personal image that will push us to develop our potential and acquire achievements or fail. Through the different stages of life we discover that we are different to others. We perceive whether those “others” that surround us accept us or not. Adolescence is a very critical for self – esteem development, since in this stage the teenager must procure a solid identity and achieve independence, despite of his parents. When a solid self – esteem is developed, this crisis is overcome and maturity is achieved. On occasion, this does not happen and with the goal of acquiring security in themselves, they seek destructive paths, like in the case of addictions.
Anorexia and bulimia are symptoms that are based on addictive personalities. Addict, from Latin addictus means: dedicated, very inclined, attached.
Anorexia and Bulimia: Types of Eating Disorders
Nervous Anorexia: The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that Nervous Anorexia and Bulimia are mental and conduct disorders. It is the rejection of keeping the same or greater weight over the minimum that is considered normal for the age and size.
Anorexia is a psychological disorder that influences eating and it is expressed as an eating disorder. Those who suffer it have a distorted perception of their body image. This distorted image creates an intense fear to overweight and obesity, which impulses the individual to control the weight in an obsessive way through diets that are very limited in foods that contain a high energetic value. In some cases, they consume a very restricted variety of food. Other ways of losing weight may be induction to vomit, consuming laxatives, diuretics and excessive physical activity.
Overweight and Obesity are the abnormal accumulation of fat that is bad for our health. In some cases the index of body mass in adults with eating disorders is 18 or less.
What is the Body Mass Index (BMI)?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator that is used to determine overweight and obesity in adults. It is obtained by relating the weight in kilograms of the individual in question and his size in square meters (kg/m).
If the IMC is equal or greater than 25 we evaluate that this person has overweight and if the IMC is equal or superior to 30, it is considered obesity. The method is not totally exact, since it is applicable to both genders and ranges of adult age, but it is economical, fast and easy to detect categories of overweight and obesity.
Signs of Eating Disorders
Bulimia: It is an eating disorder that alternates periods of ravenous ingest in little time with others of fasting, along with the use of laxatives, diuretics, enemas and vomit induction as compensating conducts with the goal of avoiding the gain of body weight. This would correspond to the purgative type. The non-purgative type uses excessive physical activity.
In Bulimia, eating is not only excessive, but also the person “swallows” the food without tasting them. Later, remorse, guilt and fear to obesity happen suddenly. This becomes a circle without end that is done hidden and provokes embarrassment.
Anorexia in Handwriting: Graphical signs Analysis
Graphic signs of Anorexia
- Layout: Clear writing (high level of intelligence that may not be aware of due to fear to failure), small left margin and big right margin. (Very tied to the family, attachment to the mother).
- Dimension: Small, uniform. (Inferiority complex, lack of spontaneity, low self-esteem, regimented conduct, introversion).
- Form: Calligraphic writing, print, arched. (Established symbiotic relationships that lack spontaneity, dependent.)
- Speed: Slow. (Ego weakness).
- Direction of lines: Tendency to horizontality.
- Inclination: Straight, inverted (lack of spontaneity, tendency to introversion, regression to the mothers’ womb)
- Pressure: Loose, superficial, fast, and clean. (May lack energy).
- Continuity: Connected, regular, monotonous. (Docility, adjusts to bonds).
- Signature: Predominance of the last name over the name. (Does not recognize his own feelings because he is influenced by parents’ expectations).
Graphology and Graphic Signs of Bulimia in Writing
- Layout: Concentrated writing, small or no superior margin and small inferior margin. Disproportioned, with predominance of the middle and inferior zones. (extroversion, impulsiveness.)
- Dimension: Medium to large. (Childish thinking).
- Shape: Round, print. Wide garlands. (Dependent or demanding person).
- Direction of lines: Descending tendency (fatigue, tiredness, depression, sadness).
- Inclination: Inclined and very inclined (Extroversion, impulsive people, may be rejected for this, active social life).
- Pressure: Heavy, fat, dirty.
- Continuity: Disconnected (affective instability).
- Signature: Close to the text, in the center of the page.
Professor Jaime Tutusaus comments that signs of orality, narcissism, immaturity, insecurity, concern about the body and egocentrism are combined, and adds the following traits:
- Connected writing. It is characteristic of adult women or in people with a strong symbiotic tendency. Implies tendency to orality, affective dependence, even economical parasitism.This interpretation is reinforced if the writing is round, soft and wide.
- Regressive writing.
- Ovals closed at the bottom.
- Short lower extensions (preferably in short letter “p”. Tall upper extensions “f”).
- Variable inclination.
- Big or inflated writing.
- Late or declining bars
- Letter “j” is short. With or without the dot, round or circled.
- Inflated or curly arches
- Dots: “i” with a dot, without a dot or circled.
- Dropping endings which descend.
This concludes the article about Graphology: Anorexia in writing.
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