Lady Gaga Reveals She Has Lived With PTSD For Years

By McCarton Ackerman 12/08/16

“Today I shared one of my deepest secrets with the world. Secrets keep you sick with shame.”

Lady Gaga Reveals She Has Lived With PTSD For Years

Lady Gaga has been living with post-traumatic stress disorder for more than a decade, but spoke about it publicly for the first time this week.

In a Today segment that aired Monday, the singer (real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) said she first developed PTSD after being raped at age 19. She participated in the on-camera piece as part of the Share Kindness campaign, where she spoke with LGBTQ homeless youth at the Ali Forney Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Although Gaga revealed her rape for the first time in a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, she never linked it to her PTSD until now. She credited regular meditation with “helping me calm down” in the new interview. 

“I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” she said. “But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors — as well as my family and my friends — it’s really saved my life. I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.” 

The singer later tweeted about her PTSD, writing, “Today I shared one of my deepest secrets with the world. Secrets keep you sick with shame.” Her candor prompted fans to share their own experiences dealing with mental health issues, with one writing “I also suffer from PTSD. This is the first time I say it too. I love you and admire you so much.”

Gaga has also suffered with substance abuse issues centered around marijuana. She admitted smoking up to 20 joints per day in order to numb severe hip pain, but told radio station Z100 in November 2014 that Elton John helped her mostly kick the habit. Although she still smokes pot occasionally, the singer said she is the “soberest” she’s been in years. 

"He got me on the straight and narrow. He was telling me: 'Gaga, you're smoking too much.' He saved me," she said. "I was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing myself completely, and looking back, I do see now that some of it had to do with my hip pain...I didn't know where the pain was coming from so I was just in a lot of pain and very depressed all the time and not really sure why."

In September 2014, Alanis Morissette told Oprah Winfrey that her meteoric rise to fame in the ‘90s led to her developing PTSD. The singer said she wanted to be famous, but once her debut album Jagged Little Pill took off, “the traumatized person, in this case, me, gets traumatized by the thing I thought would be the balm. I thought that everything would be helped and soothed and healed by fame."

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.