On 19 February 2005, UCSIA organised a study day at the University of Antwerp on the topics of autonomy, depression and fatigue within a broad societal context, with special focus on health care, education, corporate and family life, and faith.
Many individuals suffer from stress, burnout, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. People are apparently exhausted by the fact that they must choose and decide for themselves. At least, that is the argument that the French sociologist Alain Ehrenberg puts forward in his book "La fatigue d’être soi. Dépression et société."
Marc Desmet, a Jesuit and physician, adapted this provocative diagnosis and made it more recognisable in the context of contemporary life. Ria Grommen, a psychologist with an interest in religion and life views, set out in search of perspectives within which personal autonomy is less exhausting. Subsequently, the participants contributed to six animated workshops: they gave their opinions on this diagnosis and perspectives in relation to such sectors as education, corporate life, relationships, family life, health care and faith.
Two hundred people participated in six workshops that were guided by the speakers mentioned above and by Francis Loyens (pedagogue, Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg), Ilse Dielen (Chairwoman of the Socio-Economic Council of Flanders), Eric Boydens (general practitioner and member of the Centre for GP Medicine of the University of Antwerp), Guido Vanheeswijck (philosopher, University of Antwerp and KULeuven).
Inspired by the workshops’ success, Marc Desmet and Ria Grommen lent their cooperation to a book “Moe van het moeten kiezen”, published by Lannoo Publishers.
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