Lady Gaga has always advocated for mental health. Over the years, the singer has inspired people through her own experiences and urged them to follow the path to wellness.
Lady Gaga is a name every music lover would know. Over the years, the iconic singer has established a place for herself in the industry. With bold dressing styles and confident performances, she has captured the attention of millions. However, these are not just the things that sets her apart. The award-winning singer is known to be very vocal about her mental health and the struggles she has endured. Recently, the singer sat down with Oprah to reveal the specifics of her current mental health.
The interview was part of Oprah’s wellness tour presented by WW, 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus. The banner that hosted 15,000 people at Fort Lauderdale saw the singer burst out the secrets of her life. Gaga, who appeared in a black suit, did not show the slightest hesitancy to open up, according to Good House Keeping. "I think the most shocking thing I can possibly do is be completely vulnerable and honest with you about my life, what I’ve been through, the struggles that I’ve seen that I have also been a part of, and share that with the world so that I can help other people who are suffering," said the 33-year-old singer.
She then went to describe the mental trauma that she underwent from her teenage days. She told Oprah that she suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of being sexually assaulted at the age of 19. "I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old, and I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not processing that trauma. I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it... All of a sudden, I started to experience this incredible, intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked, actually, the illness that I felt after I was raped." She added, "I can get triggered by lots of different things. By movies, by things that people say, I could get triggered by this conversation... I was triggered really badly in a court deposition."
Gaga, who did not hold back her emotions, told the audience that her brain shut down and she felt numb. She said, "It’s very difficult to describe what it feels like other than that you first are completely tingling from head to toe and then you go numb, but what is essentially happening is that the brain goes, 'That’s enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.' Boom. You break from reality as we know it."
She even addressed her fibromyalgia diagnosis. "I was afraid I was going to die. I was also on tour dancing in excruciating pain, and I wasn’t properly medicated and I wasn’t in therapy," admitted the talented artist. After being through a lot, the singer stated that she now takes care of her mental health through “Medicine, therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive therapy.” She also added that she takes time to practice her spirituality. “I consider myself a spiritual, religious woman. I don’t go to church every Sunday but I do pray every day.”
Looking back at her traumatizing experiences, Gaga believes it was a journey she went through that could make her capable of understanding pain and helping people. "I think it happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m going to show you pain, and then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it.’ Now when I see someone in pain, I can’t look away," said the emotional singer.
Apart from talking about her own experience, she urged people to take their mental health seriously. "Mental health is a medical condition. It should be treated as a medical condition. It should not be ignored." She continued, "Your primary care doctor should be introducing you to a psychiatrist who’s an expert in brain medication... I want us to understand the brain and all get on the same page about it so that Gen Z does not have to deal with this the way that we are right now. Mental health is a crisis."
This is not the first time, Gaga has spoken of mental health issues. Previously, speaking at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's annual fundraiser Patron Of the Artists Awards, Gaga had mentioned how these mental health issues took away her ability to say no. She said the word "yes" "became too automatic." "My inner voice shut down," said the Grammy winner at the event, according to USA Today.
"I was not empowered to say no. I began to notice that I would stare off into space and blackout for seconds or minutes. I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away," admitted Gaga. She also listed the sad state of her mental health paved the way for a list of problems such as, "fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior."
Having been through varied experiences, Gaga has made it a point to encourage others to focus on their wellness. She helps promote wellness among youth through Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, hoping to empower young people to create a kinder and braver world.