Handwriting Analysis and Health: Graphopathology
Hidden Diseases in Handwriting
Handwriting is a motor skill that we tend to lose when neurologic disorders appear. Parkinson disease is an example, since investigators have done research and have determined that even though clinical evaluation is carried out for diagnosis, it is possible to detect precisely some early signs of this disease through measurement of handwriting speed and pressure. Depression, among many other psychological disorders, is quickly detected through handwriting analysis.
Graphopathology, is the branch of graphology that studies the alterations produced in graphisms due to psychological or physical disturbances, latent or evident, permanent or temporary. It detects alterations of the biopsychosocial states that are expressed in handwriting.
According to Max Pulver “Psychological and spiritual essential traits, as well as physiological processes, influence handwriting’’.
We remind that graphologists must not diagnose since he is not a doctor, but he can collaborate with professionals to the early detection of prodromal symptoms, diseased, contribute to prevention and treatment follow-up.
Also read: Graphotherapy: Change your Handwriting
Graphopathology: Prodromal Symptoms
Graphopathology: What are Prodromal Symptoms?
A lot is said about prodromal symptoms in graphopathology. To graphopathology, the sources of information are the strokes and the zone where the alterations are produced.
Prodromal symptoms are the group of graphical symptoms that precede the development of a disease. Each pathology has a group of prodromal symptoms that characterize it.
In order to understand graphopathology, it is essential to recognize the graphical
environment, the positive and negative senses of the texts that are provided for analysis
(which is not the mere sum of signs). We must achieve the integral interpretation of the
personality of the writer. The fact that erroneous strokes appear or maladjustments exist
between the shape, space and movement of the graphical wave, means the lack of
concordance between the vital functions of the individuals.
What is the Graphic Environment in Handwriting?
Due to the fact that we are ambivalent beings by nature, that we think in terms of good-bad, health-illness, self-control -impulsiveness, our tendency to find the equilibrium in this dual world is also reflected in writing.
Graphical environment is the overall appreciation of a writing. The first impression that impact us in the text altogether. The graphical environment may be positive or negative according to the characteristics that cover it.
A writing is healthy or normal when the graphical environment is positive and the graphical aspects are in harmony.
The disequilibrium between space, shape and movement can reveal emotional immatureness or absence of health in the writing.
Graphopathology: Symptoms of Disease in Writing
The presence of physical or psychological illness affects the mobility of the individual, causing, as a result, the presence of faulty strokes and movements, with alterations in the distribution of graphical space and order, among others.
It is important to recall that these traits must not be studied in isolation, but to pay
attention to the whole, to alterations in order, dispositions of margins, pressure, pace,
regularity, line spacing, words, presence of crashes between edges, among others. One symptom in isolation does not reveal anything.
Handwriting Analysis and Health
With the goal of getting started in this topic of Graphopathology, we shall describe a few pathological graphical traits that denote illness.
- Torsion: Irregularity or luxation in the path of a letter or part of a letter. The
stroke that should be straight, suffers inflections.
- Shake: Graphical wave that is agitated with small shakes. Movement is not
performed in one stroke only, but which is constituted by small angles.
- Breeze: The path of the stroke is interrupted, fragmented, providing the
sensation that the pen went over the sheet of paper without leaving ink.
- Congestion: When it shows up as ovals and curls in eyes of letters full of
ink. Viscosity: When upper and lower extensions appear as dirty, slippery,
wrongly delimited, soft, unclear and non-dynamic strokes.
- Fragmentation: Letters composed of two or more disconnected strokes. Its structure is divided when according to the calligraphic model it should be connected. An example is “d” and “g” in two oval strokes and upper extension, “m” lowercase in three strokes.
- Slant: Right slant movements, very inclined or unequal. Direction of lines: Descending lines
- Size: Exaggerated disproportions in the execution of letters.
- Shape: Alterations in shape, complications, exaggerated ornamentations or extravagances.
- Layout: Anomalies in the distribution of text and blank spaces (loss of sense of spatial orientation).
- Pressure: In general, illnesses that have an organic origin are manifested in alterations in graphical pressure and morphology, opposed to psychopathologies that more frequently present alterations in cohesion, dimension, spatial orientation and shape.
- Periods and accent marks: When abnormal, they may reflect memory disorders, attention and imagination.
Also read: Handwriting Analysis: Features and Traits
Positive Graphic Environment
The graphic environment is positive when we find symptoms that reveal normality and health:
- Conserved shape: It reflects conduct, uses defense mechanisms of the Ego, the relationship with the environment, the way in which the personality was structured.
- Progressive movements: Strokes influence movements that move around harmonically, without difficulties or impediments in the continuity of graphism.
- Layout: Good distribution of text and blank spaces and margins. Good spacing between lines, words and letters, without crashing edges.
- Proportion of letters: Regularity, no rigidity and uninterrupted, conserving good pace in the execution of strokes.
- Speed: Has to be medium, not excessively fast, nor excessively slow.
- Clarity: Writing must be clear and legible, without jams or viscosity.
- Pressure: Adequate pressure, relief, normal depth, firm tension, medium caliper.
The graphical symbols reflect the learning and adjustment that we achieve in our
desires and the demands of the world that surrounds us. The positive sense indicates
that we have managed to harmonize our needs or impulses with the pressures and
demands that the world presents us.
The positive sense is the degree of evolution, maturity and adjustment of the
personality and how much the environment influences this individual. When analyzing a
piece of writing it is necessary to do it in an integral way, keeping in mind it is a “whole”,
which is more important than the sum of the parts. Interpreting isolated traits does
not work but that we need to relate all those traits that we find in order to arrive to
In order to determine the graphical environment of writing we need to take into account
whether there is equilibrium between the graphical area and the emotional maturity of
How Does Graphopathology Work?
The maturity of the personality is translated onto writing, reflecting itself as a normal or healthy writing. This maturity of the personality or emotional maturity is the one that allows the individual to acquire new learnings and develop healthy conducts and indicates that we are moving towards the path of personal evolution.
We, human beings, count on an amount of libido energy that is accumulated until it is
released with different activities. Our life goes by between the production and
consumption of this energy constantly, which cooperates for the physical and
psychological functionalities work accordingly, allowing the liberation of internal tension.
It is essential that this tension, generated by emotions, is kept in equilibrium and within
an optimal level.
The defense mechanisms of the Ego release from our body the accumulated energy caused by emotions. When this tension increases above its optimal level or below its necessary level, the natural rhythm and balance is altered, causing excesses, disproportions, it overflows.
Graphopathology detects the ability of the ego of the individual to preserve the equilibrium of tensions and to adjust to the reality that the environment
Defense Mechanisms of the Ego in Handwriting
What are the Defense Mechanisms of the Ego?
The defense mechanisms of the ego where proposed for the first time by Sigmund Freud (1925), but his daughter, Anna Freud (1973) was the one who took this matter deeper and who came up with the first systematic classification.
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