Lady Gaga Talks To Oprah About PTSD, Working Through Trauma & Self-Harm

By Desiree Bowie 11/08/19

"I have PTSD. I have chronic pain. Neuropathic pain trauma response is a weekly part of my life. I’m on medication; I have several doctors. This is how I survive," Gaga said.

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey dove deep into mental health, healing from deep-rooted trauma and the benefits of getting treatment on a recent episode of Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations podcast. The power duo have both been outspoken mental health advocates throughout their careers.

Living With Trauma

The Bad Romance singer has long been a champion of inclusivity and owning your truth and her sitdown with her mogul hero was exceptionally open and honest. The founder of the Born This Way Foundation discussed her past trauma and how she manages it.

"I have PTSD. I have chronic pain. Neuropathic pain trauma response is a weekly part of my life. I’m on medication; I have several doctors. This is how I survive," Gaga said. "I would also beckon to anyone to try, when they feel ready, to ask for help. And I would beckon to others that if they see someone suffering, to approach them and say, 'Hey, I see you. I see that you’re suffering, and I’m here. Tell me your story.'"

Then the singer revealed that she self-injured for a number of years in the hopes of helping another person who self-harm see that they're are not alone.

"I was a cutter for a long time, and the only way that I was able to stop cutting and self-harming myself was to realize that what I was doing was trying to show people that I was in pain instead of telling them and asking for help. When I realized that telling someone, 'Hey, I am having an urge to hurt myself,' that defused it. I then had someone next to me saying, 'You don’t have to show me. Just tell me: What are you feeling right now?' And then I could just tell my story."

Using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy To Heal

The Grammy award-winning singer no longer self-harms - she also clarified that her admission is not meant to glamorize it any way.

"One thing that I would suggest to people who struggle with trauma response or self-harm issues or suicidal ideation is actually ice. If you put your hands in a bowl of ice-cold water, it shocks the nervous system, and it brings you back to reality."

Gaga went on to rave about her experience with dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). With DBT, patients are encouraged to explore the emotions surrounding their trauma so they begin the path to accceptance.  

"I think that DBT is a wonderful, wonderful way to deal with mental health issues," Gaga pined. "It’s a really strong way of learning how to live, and it’s a guide to understanding your emotions." And for Gaga understanding and acceptance are important keys to life.

"I believe life is asking of us to accept the challenge. Accept the challenge of kindness. It’s hard in a world the way that we are; we have a very, very grave history. We’re in trouble, and we have been before. But I think life asks us amid these challenges, this hatred, this tragedy, this famine, this war, this cruelty: Can you be kind and can you survive?"

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Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie

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