Towards Automatically Classifying Depressive Symptoms from Twitter Data for Population Health

Danielle L. Mowery, Albert Park, Craig Bryan, Mike Conway


Abstract
Major depressive disorder, a debilitating and burdensome disease experienced by individuals worldwide, can be defined by several depressive symptoms (e.g., anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure), depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, etc.). Individuals often discuss their experiences with depression symptoms on public social media platforms like Twitter, providing a potentially useful data source for monitoring population-level mental health risk factors. In a step towards developing an automated method to estimate the prevalence of symptoms associated with major depressive disorder over time in the United States using Twitter, we developed classifiers for discerning whether a Twitter tweet represents no evidence of depression or evidence of depression. If there was evidence of depression, we then classified whether the tweet contained a depressive symptom and if so, which of three subtypes: depressed mood, disturbed sleep, or fatigue or loss of energy. We observed that the most accurate classifiers could predict classes with high-to-moderate F1-score performances for no evidence of depression (85), evidence of depression (52), and depressive symptoms (49). We report moderate F1-scores for depressive symptoms ranging from 75 (fatigue or loss of energy) to 43 (disturbed sleep) to 35 (depressed mood). Our work demonstrates baseline approaches for automatically encoding Twitter data with granular depressive symptoms associated with major depressive disorder.
Anthology ID:
W16-4320
Volume:
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Modeling of People’s Opinions, Personality, and Emotions in Social Media (PEOPLES)
Month:
December
Year:
2016
Address:
Osaka, Japan
Venues:
PEOPLES | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
The COLING 2016 Organizing Committee
Note:
Pages:
182–191
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W16-4320
DOI:
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W16-4320.pdf