Paying Attention to Speech in Teen Depression  | Ignite Teen Treatment


In studying teen depression and teen mental health, it’s important to listen to them, in more ways than one. As a report in Teen Vogue says, there’s a new way to determine teen depression and teen mental health problems through specific words they speak. 


We all know that people express themselves by saying they’re sad, or lonely, or depressed, but now research is looking at how teens use pronouns and how intense their language is. As Teen Vogue explains, “When it comes to pronouns, researchers found that those who are depressed use more first-person pronouns.”  


Another researcher explains, “Those with symptoms of depression use significantly more first-person singular pronouns – such as ‘me,’ ‘myself’ and ‘I’ – and significantly fewer second and third person pronouns…This pattern of pronoun use suggested people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others.”  


Researchers have also been looking at forums where teens speak out and how they specifically use language. As one explains, “The prevalence of absolutist words is approximately 50% greater in anxiety and depression forums, and approximately 80% greater for suicidal ideation forums.”  


While this doesn’t completely point to people being depressed, or is the only indication in studying teen depression and teen mental health, but it’s one indication that people can pay attention to in identifying and eventually helping teen depression and teen mental health.  


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