I listen to the song Pretty Shining People by George Ezra. I’ve heard the song before, but today a piece of the text struck me:

He said, “Why, what a terrible time to be alive
If you’re prone to overthinking and
Why, what a terrible time to be alive
If you’re prone to second guessing “and

Deep … I think to myself. But somewhere he is right. As I interpret the text, it has to do with how the current society works and between the lines it also deals with the increase of depression and burn-outs.

Step  into their shoes

Performance is paramount in today’s society. You are expected to study, to get high grades and to get your studies within the timeline outlined. People who do ‘nothing’ with their lives are often seen as lazy people who don’t even bother to work for their money. When I hear these kinds of statements, I think to myself: guys, try to step into their shoes. Maybe there is a very good reason why a person doesn’t work. It doesn’t always mean that he or she is too lazy to work.

Performance society

We should stop thinking like a performance society. I am a student myself and I see that many young people are being submerged by competition. Some lecturers even emphasize that it’s important that you get high grades because otherwise it will be harder to get a job after your studies. Certain master’s studies only accept students who are on average 8/10 or higher. But who says that these students score high socially too?

Social skills

For working in a company you have to be socially skilled too. High marks for a course only show that you master that subject, but the rest? Last year I had a number of meetings with the study advisor. She told me that there are many students at the university suffering from depression. The performance society doesn’t help. There is so much pressure on young people. I received an obituary in my school mail with the message that a loved one died unexpectedly more than once.

More than just the society

Of course, depression in particular also has to do with predisposition. For example, if it often occurs in your family or if you are sensitive to criticism or have low self-esteem, you are more likely to get a depression. I also recently found out that I have a tendency to depression because I am more sensitive than the average person. That means that I always have to be on guard and that I have more risk of getting a depression again in the future.

Reduce depression

The big question remains: how do we reduce depressions among young people? First of all, it’s important to be able to talk openly about depression. There is still a taboo. Fortunately, the Dutch government has already started a campaign: Hey, it’s okay! (make depression negotiable). In addition, it is important that the performance society is tackled. So much pressure on young people is not okay. It must be emphasized that it’s not important that you get your studies within a certain time frame, but that everyone does it at their own pace. Because that’s okay.

Quote with this story: Don’t we all need love? The answer is easy – George Ezra (Pretty Shining People)



Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
Deel dit artikel! Als dit artikel voor jou inzichtelijk was, deel het dan met je omgeving - laten we het samen hebben over mentale gezondheid.


By telling others about my own experiences, I hope to support people that deal with mental disorders in their own process. I find it important that mental illnesses are recognised as real diseases, even though they might not be visible to the eye.

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