Lady Gaga's Open Letter About Having PTSD Is One Of The Most Powerful Ways She's Ever Shown Support For Her Fans
In 2016, Lady Gaga reached some incredible milestones, winning a Best Actress Golden Globe for her role in American Horror Story and releasing a highly praised album, Joanne, inspired by her late aunt. While Gaga enjoyed the fruits of her labor, she also revealed a darker side of her personal life. In November, she spoke out about dealing with chronic pain, and now, she's revealed that she has post-traumatic stress disorder. As an artist who is open book for her fans, Gaga wrote an open letter about the details of her PTSD on the Born This Way Foundation's website, further proving that she is determined to be open and supportive for anyone else struggling with a mental illness, and it is inspiring to see someone in her position so devoted to this.
In a segment for the Today show on Dec. 5, Gaga revealed that she had PTSD publicly for the first time during a meeting she had with homeless LGBT youth in New York City. She said that she felt compelled to tell the youth about her diagnosis to be able to offer them support from her own experience. She also said, "I've been searching for ways to help myself. And I found that kindness is the best way." In that vein, Gaga maintained full transparency when she posted her devastating letter on the Born This Way Foundation's website, fully detailing how the illness affects her in her daily life.
She wrote that she struggled for a while to reveal her diagnosis, which came after years of being treated for chronic pain. She said, "There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, but it’s important that you know that there is hope and a chance for recovery."
She further wrote of the painful details of how PTSD has impacted her career and how she has lived through it,
It is a daily effort for me, even during this album cycle, to regulate my nervous system so that I don’t panic over circumstances that to many would seem like normal life situations ... I also struggle with triggers from the memories I carry from my feelings of past years on tour when my needs and requests for balance were being ignored ... I also experience something called dissociation which means that my mind doesn’t want to relive the pain so “I look off and I stare” in a glazed over state ... My body is in one place and my mind in another. It’s like the panic accelerator in my mind gets stuck and I am paralyzed with fear. When this happens I can’t talk. When this happens repeatedly, it makes me have a common PTSD reaction which is that I feel depressed and unable to function like I used to. It’s harder to do my job.
These symptoms sounds truly devastating, and I understand now why she wants to be able to speak openly about in order to provide comfort for others. Although Gaga wrote about all of the negative ways that PTSD affects her daily life, she offers a moment of positivity and inspiration for fans that may feel the pain that she does:
I am a strong and powerful woman who is aware of the love I have around me from my team, my family and friends, my doctors and from my incredible fans who I know will never give up on me. I will never give up on my dreams of art and music. I am continuing to learn how to transcend this because I know I can. If you relate to what I am sharing, please know that you can too.
Finally Gaga opened up about how she vows to use kindness and understanding to further her healing and provide healing for others that might suffering. She wrote,
I believe that the most inexpensive and perhaps the best medicine in the world is words. Kind words… positive words… words that help people who feel ashamed of an invisible illness to overcome their shame and feel free. This is how I and we can begin to heal.
Gaga has come a long way in her career, and she has always been committed to being there for her millions of fans. In this especially trying time, I am so excited to see her fully committed to being a bright light in this world with such a powerful stage to speak from. There can never be enough positive influences for fans, and that's something she definitely understands..