People who say “me”,”‘myself” and “I” frequently are more likely to suffer with depression and anxiety, according to new research.
Scientists at the University of Kassel, Germany, found that the people who use first-person singular pronouns the most are more likely to be depressed than those who tend to use plural pronouns, such as “we”.
The researchers, led by Dr Johannes Zimmerman, interviewed 15 men and 103 women, most of whom were being treated for conditions such as depression and anxiety disorder.
The interviewers asked the participants about their past, their relationships, and their self-perception.
They found that people who say “me” and “I” tend to be more depressed, but that they also have more difficulties with interpersonal behaviour such as interacting in a group of people.
For example, these people were more likely to attention-seek and to be unable to spend time alone.
By contrast, those who use words like “we” a lot were better at maintaining appropriate social boundaries in their relationships while still having a healthy social life.
Dr Zimmerman said: “Using first-person singular pronouns highlights the self as a distinct entity whereas, using first-person plural pronouns emphasise being part of social relationships.”
As a result, Dr Zimmerman believes that people who use the singular pronouns tend to be needier.
The research comes after it was proved that people who suffer from depression and anxiety can benefit from forced exercise.
Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder found that people with depression can benefit from regular exercise and that a feeling of self-control is also good for mental health.
Therefore, they decided to establish whether forced exercise has the same benefits as voluntary exercise, or whether the benefits are outweighed by the loss of control.
After studying lab rats, they concluded that forced exercise is just as beneficial as unforced.