Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This study details the use of corpus linguistics techniques to interrogate a corpus of adolescent health emails. The analysis focuses on the theme of depression, qualitatively examining how adolescents communicate psychological distress to health professionals. The study’s findings relate how the adolescents situate their accounts around two recurring constructs: “I am depressed” and “I have depression”. These formulations encode different perspectives and meaning making with regard to the conceptualisation of depression, the former describing depressive experiences as a reaction to negative life events, the latter portraying depression as a pathology originating within the individual. Thus the language choices employed by adolescents can be seen to reflect not only the personal and social contexts in which their depression is situated, but also reflect broader contemporary attitudes to mental health, specifically the sociocultural trend of psychiatrization, whereby sadness is constructed as a clinical problem rather than an unavoidable facet of everyday life.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): adolescents; discourse; health communication depression; internet
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