A lecture on the influence of stress on our lives, and why our primal stress-system cannot cope with the complexity of the world around us.
A mental health crisis, a burnout epidemic and increasing psychological problems. The 21st century already seems to be the era of stress. Alarming figures indicate that our bodies and minds are not capable of handling the amount of pressure we experience. How can we experience less stress? In this lecture psychiatrist Witte Hoogendijk talks about the influence of stress on our lives, and why our primal stress-system cannot cope with the complexity of the world around us.
There is talk of a crisis in mental health; people experience a problematic amount of stress that can result in sleeping disorders, burnout and depression. Especially students feel the pressure to perform and the amount of students with psychological problems is growing, with insecurity, fear, panic attacks and addiction as common complaints. What is going wrong? How can you prevent experiencing too much stress? And have we deprioritized our happiness in order to get better grades, a prestigious internship or an inspiring job?
Stress was once a crucial necessity for human survival, but when the things that cause stress are unavoidable, abstract, or cannot be influenced, it can lead to depression and burnout. Especially young people experience many things of that order; the pressure to perform, making big life decisions and the weight of the world. Witte Hoogendijk approaches stress, burnout and depression from the evolution theory. He will explain why these are modern day diseases, caused by a discrepancy between what your body is made for and what we are asking from it.
Witte Hoogendijk is psychiatrist, professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. He has researched depression for over thirty years and has - together with journalist Wilma de Rek - written two well-received books on stress and burnout (in Dutch titled Van Big Bang tot Burn Out; het grote verhaal over stress and Leef als een Beest). His research focuses on the biological aspects of depression.
This program will be in English and is a collaboration between Studium Generale and the student initiative Happy Student Society.