Depression, being a life-alerting mental illness, can affect every area of our lives. Those areas include, among others, our eating and sleeping habits, as well as relationships, job, and hobbies. Those people that have been diagnosed as being in a ‘sad’ or ‘grief-stricken’ state are stuck in a condition which lasts longer than the average state of sadness that we all feel from time to time in our lives.
Some typical signs and symptoms of depression are the following: a loss of libido, lowered increased appetite, fatigue, weight gain or loss, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, feeling hopelessness, as well as insomnia or oversleeping, and constantly feeling ‘blue.’ It is important to identify and address clinical depression as it might complicate a lot of severe health conditions which include cancer and heart diseases, and may also lead to suicide in the most of the severe cases.
According to a new research, the words which we choose can reveal an early onset of depression, as well as anxiety and even suicidal ideation.
According to one study published in ‘Clinical Psychological Science’ in January 2018, there are some markers in the communication of somebody that is experiencing a special level of psychological distress. By identifying those specific markers, experts can identify the onset of anxiety, as well as depression at an early stage. Early diagnosis permits mental health professionals to take the necessary steps for treating the disease before it has a long-term, as well as permanent effect on the overall health of a patient.
The experts can identify some of the differences like a change to the content or subject of the statements that are being made. Those people that suffer from depression might choose some words which better convey their current negative state. For example, ‘lonely,’ ‘upset,’ or ‘pathetic.’
Statistically, those people also tend to use more first-person singular pronouns like ‘me,’ ‘myself,’ and ‘I’. That also highlights the fact that depressed persons usually feel a lack of connection with some other people around them, focusing more on themselves. While it is easier to identify the negative terminology, experts also claim that this particular shift in pronouns use is a more reliable indicator.
Furthermore, researchers have noted that those people that suffer from mental health conditions tend to use ‘absolutist words.’
Such words are indicative of somebody who views the world solely in extremes. Instead of acknowledging the spectrum before them, they will tend to see everything in black and white. For example, they will use some words like ‘complete,’ ‘whole,’ ‘totally,’ ‘always’ or ‘never.’
Acoustician Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson from the University of Maryland hopes to take this piece of information. He wants to apply it practically to help your adults and teenagers track their voice pattern, identifying any signs of early onset.
There are some plans for further study which will explore these patterns, as well as compare the speech patterns of people with depression to those that have no history of mental illness.