The aim of this work was to analyze a series of 23 suicide notes from a town in the north of Spain using a computerized method for text analysis: Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). This software has been used in recent years to examine suicide notes, letters and poems in order to characterize the quantitative linguistic features of suicidal texts.
Sociodemographic data (age, gender, suicide method, marital status, residential status, previous psychiatric history, and physical disease) of suicide victims in Ourense (Spain) during the period 2006–2010 (N = 144) were collected. The group of note writers was compared with those who did not leave note using parametric tests. Secondly suicide notes were processed using LIWC. Results were analyzed using non- parametric tests for comparison of means between groups of age, gender and residence including the 80 LIWC output scores.
Note writers were younger than non writers (p < 0.032). Writing was less frequent among those married (p < 0.05). Regarding note analysis, there were statistically significant gender differences in total word count, positive affect expressions, positive feelings, doubts, references to the past and to the future and usage of periods. There were differences regarding age in terms related with exclusion being more frequent in < 65 years. Finally, there were rural- urban differences in usage of words related with social interaction and insight, being more frequent in urban areas.