Days after revealing that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the singer has written a powerful letter detailing the ‘daily effort’ of managing her mental health
Earlier this week, Lady Gaga appeared on the Today Show and spoke for the first time about dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, she’s discussed the condition in-depth in an open letter posted to her Born This Way Foundation website titled Head Stuck In A Cycle I Look Off And I Stare.
“I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” she writes, “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. 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.”
The letter goes on to describe her “daily effort... to regulate my nervous system so that I don’t panic over circumstances that to many would seem like normal life situations”. She discusses the “triggers from the memories I carry” and suffering from disassociation – “which means that my mind doesn’t want to relive the pain so ‘I look off and I stare’ in a glazed over state.”
Gaga concludes by stating that she wants to help people “overcome their shame” and “raise awareness that this mental illness affects all kinds of people, including our youth”. The letter also includes links for the National Institute for Mental Health and telephone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“Secrets keep you sick,” she adds, “And I don’t want to keep this secret anymore.”
Two years ago, Lady Gaga spoke about how she was raped when she was 19 and the prolonged effect it had on her. She provided a song, “Until It Happens To You”, for the The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on college campuses.
Read the full letter here.