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Talking about bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder: Applying innovative large-scale language analysis approaches to lived experience

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesSymposium


Living with bipolar disorder (BD) or enduring personality issues such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) poses major challenges to those experiencing such issues, those close to them, and society as a whole, particularly given that symptoms often persist despite treatment. BD and BPD substantially overlap in symptoms such as affective instability, identity disturbance, relationship problems, irritability, and distractibility. Better understanding the lived experience of those experiencing these conditions can yield important insights for improving support and treatment. Language analysis approaches have the potential to provide insights from unstructured texts that cannot be obtained using more traditional quantitative or qualitative approaches in psychological research. This symposium will cover language analysis approaches to key areas of concern in BD and BPD, including diagnosis, risk, personal recovery, and interpersonal relationships.
The first three presentations of the symposium will focus on different stages of living with BD: diagnosis, risky behaviours, and personal recovery. First, Chloe Humphreys will present a corpus-assisted discourse analysis providing a linguistic perspective on how users of the online discussion platform Reddit discuss the process of getting a BD diagnosis. Second, Daisy Harvey will report findings from a computational linguistic analysis of semi-structured interviews with people with a BD diagnosis (n = 18) on risky behaviours. Third, Glorianna Jagfeld will showcase how she combined computational linguistic and corpus linguistic methods to analyse Reddit posts of users with a self-reported BD diagnosis (n = 19,685) in relation to their personal recovery experiences. Finally, in the last presentation focusing on BPD, Charlotte Entwistle will present findings that describe social-cognitive dimensions that characterise interpersonal dysfunction in BPD. Computational psycho linguistic analysis of written essays (n = 530) about participants’ interpersonal relationships revealed four fundamental social dimensions of thought.
All presenters are PhD students at various stages. Steven Jones, Professor of Clinical Psychology, will, as discussant, draw together the findings and consider their theoretical and clinical implications for BD and related conditions.

Event (Symposium)

TitleTalking about bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder: Applying innovative large-scale language analysis approaches to lived experience
LocationUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event