Due to increasing mental health problems among university students related to academic stress, the Institute of Psychology at the University of Gdańsk is running a project to support young people. It targets those feeling excessive pressure and compulsion to study, with accompanying chronic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms.

Initiated two years ago by the UG Psychological Support Centre, the project to support the University of Gdańsk students at risk of learning addiction has met with great interest. One of the conclusions drawn from the project by its organisers, i.e. the Director of CWS UG, dr Agata Rudnik, and the Project Manager, dr Paweł Atroszko, is that there is a clear need for this type of support in the student academic community. - 'It is necessary to develop a system and support methods to respond to such high demand,' - the project initiators say in unison.

'We want to use neurofeedback technology with EEG (electroencephalography) for relaxation training for students at risk of learning addiction. We know from previous studies that people addicted to working or learning have great difficulty relaxing and resting,' - says dr Agata Rudnik. - 'As part of the MEiN-funded project, we want to investigate how relaxation skills development training using biofeedback technology can support students' psychological, health and academic functioning.'

The project team also includes Aleksandra Wybrańska, Aleksandra Cupta, Anna Brykała, Gabriela Szczepańska, Piotr Luszuk and Krzysztof Jankowski.

Neurofeedback technology

Biofeedback stands for biological feedback. The person undergoing training observes images or hears sounds on a computer monitor, which communicate hitherto unconscious changes in physiological processes (in this case, brain waves). In this way, this training enables the development of the ability to influence these processes consciously.

'We assume that relaxation training will reduce the symptoms of learning addiction and its negative consequences, particularly the reduction of experienced academic stress,' - explains dr Paweł Atroszko. - 'In addition, working on relaxation skills may also allow for better results of psychosocial and therapeutic interventions undertaken by psychologists among learning addicts.'

The current study will also allow us to estimate how much such a solution can be effectively implemented at universities.

'We encourage all students to participate in the screening and benefit from our support. The results obtained during the study will allow us to plan further measures, including psychological support for UG students and solutions to improve their psychological and academic functioning,' - adds dr Paweł Atroszko.

Take part in the survey on academic stress and learning addiction at:

The survey, available for completion, is entirely anonymous.

More information about the project:

The initiative is an extension and a continuation of a study conducted by the team to date on the prevention and reduction of the negative consequences of work addiction. One of the critical findings of this study is that it is not easy to reach working people with this type of support and work addiction, as workaholics usually find it challenging to find time for such training in their busy schedules. This, in turn, indicates that measures of this kind necessarily need to be introduced among the younger learner population, who may have more readiness and time resources to undertake such training. Also, early prevention may be more effective in preventing the later development of severe work addiction and its consequences in this group of people.

The project conducted at the UG Institute of Psychology includes the following:

1) Screening among UG students. As part of this screening, students will receive immediate, detailed feedback on their results.

2) In-depth diagnostic screening for students feeling the need for support. Those whose results on learning compulsivity in the first survey are of concern or have already felt the need for help in this area will be able to register for a free in-depth diagnostic screening.

3) Initial QEEG diagnosis - will take place at the first meeting.

4) EEG biofeedback training on the premises of the University of Gdańsk, Faculty of Social Sciences, Bażyńskiego 4, at times convenient to students by appointment (once a week for 4 weeks).

EMW / Press Office UG