Gitte Klitgaard

Caring Agile Coach/International Keynote Speaker

Stress & Depression – a Taboo in our Time

Stress and stress-induced depression hit many knowledge workers, and yet it is still a taboo. “I am stressed” has become something we hear every day, and it has almost become prestigious to say so; it shows that we are busy, important people. On the other hand, it is a bit embarrassing to be really stressed and not being able to handle it.

The sad thing is that when it comes to people, who are really stressed, we don’t hear it. We do not see it; we do not talk about it.

We feel awkward when people are stressed or come back from sick leave. We try not to talk about it. It is so much easier with a broken leg; we can carry stuff for them, hold the door, get coffee etc., but what do we do with a person with stress?

I have been sick with stress and it took nine months to come back. It was the second time and it had to hit me hard before I took it seriously.

I believe strongly in talking openly about stress and depression. It is the only way we can learn from it; the way we can make it okay to say “I need help!”.

Besides the human aspect, it is a huge problem for our organizations; not only because people go on leave, or they leave the company, but also because people are not at their best when they are stressed.

In this talk, I will discuss the taboo and explore why it hits knowledge workers so often, as well as come with tips and tricks to prevent it.


Gitte Klitgaard is an agile coach with more than a decade of experience working for companies as well as coaching individuals.

She lives and loves agile, and hates turf wars, which is why she took the oath of non-allegiance. Why fight over methods, when we can use that energy to help people? Gitte wants to change the world by helping people work better together and feel better about themselves. She is known for speaking her mind in a way that helps people actually listen to what she says; maybe because her main working tools are listening and caring.

As an active part of the agile community, Gitte often engages in the discussion online and offline and is part of the organizer team of German Agile Coach Camp as well as a facilitator at other events.

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