12 Apr

Artwork and text by Rick McVicar

  Deena Lynch, a musician and visual artist, describes how creative endeavors help her overcome Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a Tedx Talk found on YouTube.  

  In “How Art and Music Helped Me Overcome My Complex PTSD,” Lynch speaks about a severe condition that began in her childhood. She calls her condition an “onion” with several layers of symptoms, including panic attacks.   

  The symptoms put her in a constant emergency state of mind.  

  “I thought abuse was normal,” she states.  

  The condition left Lynch in a defensive stance against all of her emotions.   

  “I had no idea of boundaries or healthy relationships,” she notes.   

   Lynch put all of her energy into math and science, becoming a business analyst. However, her job did not give her happiness.   

  Her life began to change, however, after she bought a guitar. She began to become acquainted with emotions she had bottled up for a long time.

  Lynch has identified herself with different names for creating music and art. Her music name is “Jaguar Jonze,” while her visual artist name is “Spectator Jonze.”  

  Music videos by Jaguar Jonze can be found on YouTube. Her official music video, “Trigger Happy," shows the artist with a face mask singing, “I don’t want to be breaking.” However, viewers need to be cautioned that the video includes strong language.   

  In the Tedx Talk, Lynch tells about how she started writing songs, even though she knew nothing about proper music techniques. Writing songs enabled Lynch to get acquainted with her emotions. Music allowed Lynch to have a relationship with herself.  

  For those who want to begin creating to help their mental health, Lynch advises them to pay no attention to musical or artistic rules.   

  “Creating is a slow process. Healing is an even slower process,” Lynch notes.

   Currently, scientific studies are underway to determine how the arts affect people with PTSD.  

   For instance, a study at the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene has participants with PTSD listen to music while they look at pictures of angry faces. An announcement of the study, led by Yuval Neria, March 3, 2022, can be found on the Clinical Trials website hosted by the U.S. National Library of Science.  

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