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Damiaan Denys

Damiaan Denys - foto Fjodor Buis
Damiaan Denys - foto Fjodor Buis

(1965) is a prominent psychiatrist, neuroscientist, writer and theatre actor. Born in Flanders, he now works and lives in The Netherlands. He studied philosophy and medicine in Belgium, graduated in psychiatrics at the Utrecht University and worked as head anxiety disorders of the UMC Utrecht. He is a professor and head of the psychiatric department at the AMC Amsterdam. Denys developed a method for implanting electrodes into the brains of patients in order to master compulsive thoughts, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). He wrote the essay Angstparadox (Anxiety Paradox, 2016) in which he states: "If there is a single word that holds the essence of the world in which we live now, of what guides us and of what holds us back, it is anxiety." Denys writes and acts in theatre monologues, among them Van angst naar vrijheid (From anxiety to freedom, 2016), "about the sense and nonsense of our contemporary culture of anxiety".

(WU 2017)

Archive available for: Damiaan Denys

  • Winternachten 2018 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    The Netherlands on the Sofa: Marjolijn van Heemstra

    A country goes to see the doctor! The Netherlands feels fantastic. In 2017, it held sixth place on the list of the happiest countries in the world. Not too bad when you consider, for example, the quality of Dutch health care and education. Or the freedoms enjoyed by its population. On an individual level, the future looks rosy, to say the least.

    At the same time, the Netherlands seems to have lost its way. The expectations of society as a whole seem much more sombre. There is growing unrest about the collective identity. The Netherlands is frightened of losing ist norms and values.

    What's going on? Writer and theatre Artist Marjolijn van Heemsta, in the role of the Netherlands, interpreted these paradoxical feelings on psychiatrist Damiaan Denys' sofa.

  • Winternachten 2018 – Friday Night Unlimited

    The Netherlands on the Sofa: Peter Buwalda

    A country goes to see the doctor! The Netherlands feels fantastic. In 2017, it held sixth place on the list of the happiest countries in the world. Not too bad when you consider, for example, the quality of Dutch health care and education. Or the freedoms enjoyed by its population. On an individual level, the future looks rosy, to say the least.

    At the same time, the Netherlands seems to have lost its way. The expectations of society as a whole seem much more sombre. There is growing unrest about the collective identity. The Netherlands is frightened of losing ist norms and values.

    What's going on? Writer and columnist Peter Buwalda, in the role of the Netherlands, interpreted these paradoxical feelings on psychiatrist Damiaan Denys' sofa.

  • Winternachten 2017 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    The Dutch on the Couch: Tommy Wieringa

    A country sees the doctor — the Netherlands is suffering from agoraphobia. Do we want more or fewer Moroccans? How many refugees do we take in? And why don't the people who consider Black Pete racist piss off to their own countries? In the role of the Netherlands, Tommy Wieringa explains why he's so afraid to leave his old, familiar surroundings and why the big bad outside world has assumed such monstrous proportions. Damiaan Denys, Professor of psychiatry, tries to understand and explain the anxiousness within the Dutch society. In Dutch.

    Damiaan Denys replaces the earlier announced Gündüz Vassaf.

  • Winternachten 2017 – Friday Night Unlimited

    The Dutch on the Couch: Stine Jensen

    A country sees the doctor — the Netherlands is suffering from burnout. Young and old are working themselves to pieces: placement tests of elementary schoolchildren can make or break their futures; graduates can't find work without four Masters and dozens of side activities; the retirement age keeps getting raised. We live in a continual rat race, and what at first seemed an advantage — endless possibilities compared with the past — is slowly becoming a hindrance. It's the stress of so many choices, and the idea that, since one can in theory lead a perfect life, one ought to. With Professor of psychiatry Damiaan Denys and, as patient The Netherlands, filosopher Stine Jensen. In Dutch.

    Stine Jensen has taken the place of Joke Hermsen, who had to cancel because of a flue. Damiaan Denys replaces Gündüz Vassaf, who was announced in the brochure.

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    Imagination, our Brain and the Story of our Life

    Professor of psychiatry Damiaan Denys looks at his profession philosophically. He is fascinated by what human beings are not, given the human condition. The human condition is the source of all imagination. Writer P. F. Thomese wrote a novel about a man with the romantic idea of the artist embracing the void and from there reaching great heights, losing sight of reality entirely. After a short introduction by Denys on imagination and the brain Tessel Blok will iinterview them both on imagination and the void, in reality and in literature. A programme on the boundaries between pathology and art. In Dutch.