Words Most Used by Depressed People

Depression confidently penetrates into all spheres of life. Behavior, speech, well-being - everything falls under the control of this disorder. But despite this, depression is difficult to recognize even in oneself, not to mention friends and relatives. We will tell you which marker words can indicate a high probability of this disease.

Depression changes everything: bad sleep and irritability are just the beginning.

We already wrote, how to understand that you have depression , and now you should add one more to these signs - the language of depression.

In early January, the scientific journal Clinical Psychological Science published a study about the "language of depression." Scientists have found a relationship between the psychological state of a person and the words that he most often says.

Over the past 20 years, studies similar to this have already been conducted. Psychologists studied a variety of texts: from student essays and diaries to the texts of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain.

But modern computer analysis made it possible to process thousands of texts in a matter of minutes. More data is better. Thanks to this analysis, psychologists were able to identify new linguistic features that the human eye could miss. This knowledge helped to conduct a multilateral study of the language and find specific marker words in the speech of people with symptoms of depression.

Words Most Used by Depressed People

Photo: shutterstock.


Language can be divided into two components: content and form. That is, what we are talking about and how we are talking. Consciousness largely functions through language. This means that by analyzing the content of speech we can understand what kind of mental state a person is in.

The results of the study were not a surprise: people with symptoms of depression were more likely to use adjectives related to negative emotions.

For example, the words "lonely", "sad", "unhappy" were often found. Those diagnosed with depression were much more likely to use first-person pronouns: me and me. The second and third person pronouns in the speech of people with this diagnosis were quite rare. This suggests that people with persistent signs of depression are focused on themselves and removed from others.

However, many researchers believe that it is that the use of first-person pronouns, rather than the adjectives , is a more reliable way to recognize depression.

Words Most Used by Depressed People

Photo: shutterstock. com

Form language, or communication style demonstrates how a person interacts with the world and how he wants to appear to other people. After analyzing reports of 6,500 people, scientists came to the conclusion that people with depression are more likely than others to use

categorical judgments

: of course, everything, completely, never. This confirmed the hypothesis that people with depression see the world in black and white and express this vision through a manner of communication. Compared to the control group of online communities (




), in forums about depression and anxiety categorical opinions were met 50% more often.

And in communities that help people who are suicidal, these judgments were 80% more.

Those who already had depression are very likely to again encounter this problem . Black and white thinking speaks of perfectionism and too high demands on oneself and others. And the constant desire to talk only about oneself testifies to isolation from one’s own problems and isolation from others.

Words Most Used by Depressed People

Photo: shutterstock.


Learn The language of depression not only helps to understand how people with symptoms of this disease see the world and think. There is also a practical application. Thanks to computer text analysis and machine learning, special programs will be able to determine the type of mental disorder from the text that a person writes on a blog or forum.

Computers already cope with the classification of mental disorders no worse than therapists

. Over time, these indicators will only improve: the more data, the more accurate the result.

According to WHO, worldwide, 300 million people suffer from depression, eight million of them in Russia. At this rate, by 2020, depression will become the most common mental illness. Maybe this method is still not quite accurate, but if thanks to such an analysis you understand that something is wrong, and turn to a specialist in time, this will be a big victory.



Related Articles