Depression and anxiety suck, but it’s got another surprising correlation: talking about yourself. Apparently people who are into “me, myself and I” above asking about anyone else’s day are more prone to full-on bouts of depression and anxiety.
Scientists conducted a study and it showed people who use singular first person pronouns the most–meaning “I,” “me,” “myself”–tended to be more anxious and depressed than people who used plural pronouns like “we” or “us.”
Not only were the “me, myself and I” people more likely to suffer depression and anxiety, but they also had more trouble in interpersonal relationships than people who said “us” and “we.”
One expert explained, “Using first-person singular pronouns highlights the self as a distinct entity whereas, using first-person plural pronouns emphasize [being part of] social relationships.” Translation? People who say “me,” “myself” and “I” are less likely to have or to associate themselves with social situations with other people.
Experts also say that people who use the words “I,” “me” and “myself” are needier and try harder to seek attention than their peers who approach things more socially or in groups.
However, it’s unclear whether one causes the other or if it’s sort of cyclical. People with depression or anxiety may need more attention than their peers without those disorders, and they may feel more lonely and isolated as a result of suffering from anxiety and depression to begin with. If someone’s lonely, chances are interpersonal relationships aren’t the easiest thing in the world for them, so it’s important to take this study with a grain of salt. There are times in life when everyone talks about themselves more often than usual. And just because you or a pal use “I” instead of “we” doesn’t mean you have a mental illness–and just because you have a mental illness, it doesn’t mean you’re self-absorbed!
Do you think talking about yourself is a sign of depression or anxiety? Do you think people who suffer from anxiety or depression are more likely to talk about themselves? Have you ever suffered from anxiety or depression? Tell us in the comments!