Understanding who uses Reddit: Profiling individuals with a self-reported bipolar disorder diagnosis

Recently, research on mental health conditions using public online data, including Reddit, has surged in NLP and health research but has not reported user characteristics, which are important to judge generalisability of findings. This paper shows how existing NLP methods can yield information on clinical, demographic, and identity characteristics of almost 20K Reddit users who self-report a bipolar disorder diagnosis. This population consists of slightly more feminine- than masculine-gendered mainly young or middle-aged US-based adults who often report additional mental health diagnoses, which is compared with general Reddit statistics and epidemiological studies. Additionally, this paper carefully evaluates all methods and discusses ethical issues.

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