From the way people move and sleep, to how they interact with people around them, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way people speak and express themselves in writing. Sometimes this "language of depression" can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who killed themselves after suffering from depression. Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping them get closer to a full picture. A new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression. Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this field have been carried out by researchers reading and taking notes. Nowadays, computerised text analysis methods allow the processing of large data banks in minutes. This can help spot linguistic features that...

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