Lady Gaga Kept A Terrible Secret For Years. Now She’s Opened Up, And It’s Heartrending
Speaking to an audience of young, homeless LGBT people, Lady Gaga admitted publicly for the first time that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after having been raped. After handing out gifts and clothing at the Ali Forney Center, the “Paparazzi” star then opened up about her condition on NBC’s Today show.
The day after the footage was broadcast, several weeks after her appearance at the Harlem homeless shelter, Gaga published an open letter on her Born This Way Foundation website.
It read, “I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis… After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you.”
After assuring fellow sufferers there is “hope and a chance for recovery,” the singer’s open letter went into detail about how the condition affects her day-to-day existence.
“It is a daily effort for me… to regulate my nervous system so that I don’t panic over circumstances that to many would seem like normal life situations. Examples are leaving the house or being touched by strangers who simply want to share their enthusiasm for my music.”
She told Howard Stern in a 2014 interview that the mental damage she experienced as a result of a sexual assault didn’t affect her until “four or five years later” – a fact which is commonly reported among PTSD sufferers. Speaking to the New York Times in 2015 she spoke more explicitly about having been raped and said that she blamed herself. In her open letter, she elaborated on how she manages to cope with PTSD in her daily life, saying that she combines “various modalities of psychotherapy” with medicine prescribed by her psychiatrist.
In addition to the practical steps she takes to handle PTSD, Gaga told NBC about another method she finds useful in managing the condition. “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself,” she said. “And I’ve found that kindness is the best way.”