13 Common Words and Phrases That Tell You Someone Is Suffering from Depression


There are phrases which you might say every now and then, but some phrases could possibly have a different meaning when it is repeated too often. If you start noticing yourself or perhaps a loved one using such a phrase repeatedly then it may be time to check if anything is wrong.

Here are some common words/expressions, which can be an indicator of depression in a person’s speech:

1 Negative emotion words

A study conducted on teens with depression found that they rarely used the word “depressed” while describing their feelings. Instead, they used other negative emotions words like- upset, down, stressed, hopeless, worthless, sad, stupid, alone, hurting, unsure, afraid, despair, insecure, stuck, lost, bad, useless, or black and blue.

Negative emotion words

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2Me, myself and I

A person’s focus starts turning inward when they are affected by depression. They begin to start using more first-person pronouns that indicate depressive symptoms. This reveals increased self-focused attention, as per a study published in Clinical Psychological Science. You tend to feel things intensely when you experience depression which then has an effect on your speech pattern. For instance, you start using more first-person pronouns like me, myself, and I.


Deborah Serani, psychologist and author of “Living with Depression” explained: “Depressed children and adults tend to be introspective because the illness seizes the mind and body in ways that heighten self-awareness. However, this self-awareness isn’t positive; instead, it’s negative and corrosive”.

Me myself and I

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3I’m fine

You might think that you are coping but it could actually be one of the signs of high-functioning depression. According to research, there is still a widespread stigma towards depression and this prevents many people from seeking help for their mental condition. Others find the stigma of having a mental illness too shameful to deal with making them wear a smile on their face and unwilling to reveal their enormous pain.

I am fine

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4 “I want to be alone”

Withdrawal and isolation are common behaviors of people with depression. These negative feelings can take a toll on their brain. A depressed person is likely to stay away from stimulating experiences which require an enormous amount of brain activity. They would prefer to remain in quieter settings or darker rooms away from others.

I want to be alone

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