Scientists Have Discovered The Relationship Between Language And Depression

Depression not only makes you a stranger to yourself, but it speaks its own language. Scientists have discovered the relationship between language and depression.


According to a study published in the Clinical Psychological Science, there’s a class of words that can accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression. The study has analyzed fragments of writings by famous people suffering from depression, such Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain, but also written words by regular people.

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Concerning the content aspect of the language, not surprisingly, depressed people use words that denote negative emotions (lonely, sad etc).  They use preponderantly first person pronouns (me, myself, I). And that’s because depression is linked to social isolation and dwelling on personal problems.

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Concerning the style of the language they use, the study has found that depressed people tend to use absolutist words such as never, always, completely. This indicates a black-and-white kind of thinking. This type of exaggerated all-or-nothing thinking (I am either all good or all bad) is a defense mechanism.

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The importance of these findings is not only a better understanding of the way depressed people think. But also, once we understand the link between the use of language and depression, the diagnosis can be more easily found.  Please, share this!