Lady gaga oprah interview

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  • Oprah kicked off her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour in partnership with WW on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.
  • In addition to wellness-focused activities and a dance workshop with Julianne Hough, Oprah sat down with Lady Gaga for a raw and emotionally candid interview.
  • Lady Gaga opened up about her mental health, chronic pain, sexual assault, new music, and more.

On Saturday, when Oprah pressed Lady Gaga for details on her self-described psychotic break, the specifics of her current mental health, medication, and self-care regimen, and (of course) her rumored romance with Bradley Cooper, Gaga did not hold back. Why? Gaga — who admitted she canceled her post-holiday vacation to talk with Oprah as part of the media mogul’s wellness tour — said, “That’s what happens when you’re in the presence of an angel.”

Their heart-to-heart — which brought both Gaga and Oprah to tears — was raw, genuine, and intimate, despite taking place in front of 15,000 attendees. The powerhouse interview was the banner event at the kickoff of Oprah’s wellness tour presented by WW (Weight Watchers reimagined), 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus. The cross-country arena tour has nine stops from L.A. to New York, and each day-long event features an array of wellness-focused events, including a guided dance workshop with Julianne Hough.

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Fort Lauderdale, thank you for your warmth and fantastic generosity. And @ladygaga: Your willingness to ‘go there’ with your vulnerability opened all our hearts today. Watch our full interview this Wednesday 1/8 on @ww.now’s IGTV. #BigBiteOfBravery

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jan 5, 2020 at 8:08am PST

At each stop, Oprah has invited a famous friend along: a “changemaker who has inspired millions through their unique and powerful wellness story.” At the tour’s packed-house kickoff in Fort Lauderdale on January 4, that changemaker was Lady Gaga, 33, whose unbridled candor brought most attendees to tears. A pink-haired Gaga mused, “I think the most shocking thing I can possibly do is be completely vulnerable and honest with you about my life, what I’ve been through, the struggles that I’ve seen that I have also been a part of, and share that with the world so that I can help other people who are suffering.”

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Ft.Lauderdale my heart got expanded by this experience with you all. Thanks for doing the work of committing to a higher way of seeing the world. #Oprahs2020VisionTour @ww.now

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The nine-time Grammy winning artist did confirm that her next album #LG6 is a work in progress (and has been “for years,”) but Hollywood gossip took a firm backseat to Gaga’s brutally honest admissions when it came to her struggles with mental health, PTSD, and her diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. Here are the most revealing insights that the Star Is Born actress shared with Oprah:

On the importance of mental health:

“Mental health is a medical condition. It should be treated as a medical condition. It should not be ignored,” she said. “If your primary care doctor is prescribing you an antidepressant — that should not be happening. Your primary care doctor should be introducing you to a psychiatrist who’s an expert in brain medication … I want us to understand the brain and all get on the same page about it so that Gen Z does not have to deal with this the way that we are right now. Mental health is a crisis.”

On PTSD:

“I can get triggered by lots of different things. By movies, by things that people say, I could get triggered by this conversation … I was triggered really badly in a court deposition,” she said. “I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old, and I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not processing that trauma. I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it. … All of a sudden, I started to experience this incredible, intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked, actually, the illness that I felt after I was raped.”

On her psychotic break:

Following the court deposition, “This part of the brain where you stay centered and you don’t disassociate, right? It slammed down … It’s very difficult to describe what it feels like other than that you first are completely tingling from head to toe and then you go numb, but what is essentially happening is that the brain goes, ‘That’s enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.’ Boom. You break from reality as we know it.”

On #MeToo:

“In an industry where everyone has something on each other, no one wants to help you out. No one wanted to help me go after that person, to put that person where they belong, which is jail. I’m not ashamed of it, but through the whole #MeToo movement, I’ve made the personal choice not to say who it is because I choose to not relive it. That’s my personal choice. I hope that the world respects that.”

On fibromyalgia (or neuropathic pain):

“Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that makes your body hurt through your brain … Even sitting here with you today, I am in head-to-toe pain,” Gaga said. Prior to her diagnosis, “I was on the couch, Oprah. I was laid out. I could not move … I was going to the doctor all the time getting my whole body X-Rayed, MRI’d, everything, for someone to tell me something was wrong. Like, tell me I have a herniated disc or something. They couldn’t find anything and it was so, so frustrating.” For five years, “I was afraid I was going to die,” she tearfully recalled. “I was also on tour dancing in excruciating pain, and I wasn’t properly medicated and I wasn’t in therapy.”

On her mental health care regimen:

“Medicine, therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive therapy,” as well as transcendental meditation, daily exercise, and “radical acceptance,” a DBT practice to accept reality in its current state and minimize the suffering that comes from denial, and “opposite action,” another DBT skill that’s designed to help regulate harmful thoughts and behavior patterns.

On spirituality:

“I consider myself a spiritual, religious woman. I don’t go to church every Sunday but I do pray every day,” she said. “All the things I’ve been through, I think they were supposed to happen. I was supposed to go through this. Even the rape, all of it … I think it happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m going to show you pain, and then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it.’ Now when I see someone in pain, I can’t look away.”

And inevitably, on Bradley Cooper:

“We did a really good job at fooling everyone. We created that.”

You can watch the full interview with Oprah and Lady Gaga on January 8 on Instagram at WW’s IGTV channel, @ww.now. Oprah’s tour will continue with weekly stops across the country until March 7, when it wraps in Denver with special guest Gayle King. Additional tour guests include Michelle Obama, Amy Schumer, and Dwayne Johnson. Tickets are on sale now.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OPRAH’S 2020 VISION TOUR

Jessica Teich Editor Jessica is the editor for products and reviews at GoodHousekeeping.com, and a longtime product tester, reviewer, writer, and editor for beauty, lifestyle, health, and home content.

  • Oprah Winfrey kicked off her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour with WW on Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale, where a sold-out arena of 15,000 fans participated in goal-setting exercises and jotted down words of wisdom from the O of O.
  • In addition to a dance party led by Julianne Hough, Oprah also welcomed Lady Gaga to the stage for a one-on-one interview that kept the audience hooked. During their conversation, the duo—who’ve opened up to each other before—addressed mental health, sexual assault, and what’s it on store for Gaga’s career.
  • “I’m a survivor and I’m living and I’m thriving and I’m strong,” Gaga told Oprah.

Who wouldn’t drop what they were doing if Oprah called to ask for a favor?

Lady Gaga did just that on Saturday, when she arrived at Fort Lauderdale’s BB&T Center as the first celebrity guest to participate in Oprah’s nine-city 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour with WW. Following a morning packed with goal-setting exercises (think: mindful meditation, journaling, and some care-free dancing) designed to help folks live more well, Oprah introduced the nine-time Grammy winner to a sea of 15,000 screaming fans for an emotional conversation that not only brought Gaga to tears, but was also among her most candid in recent memory.

Relying on her expert reportorial way of conducting interviews, Oprah got the Oscar-winner, 33, to open up about the creation of her Lady Gaga persona (she was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta), plus heavier topics such as chronic pain, self-harm, and sexual assault. Gaga bravely explained how trauma from her adolescence shaped her adulthood and eventually led to mental and physical well-being issues that at one point kept her from getting out of bed. (Oprah also confirmed that Gaga’s on board for a forthcoming mental health documentary via AppleTV+, just like Prince Harry).

“I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old. I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not processing that trauma. I did not have anyone help me, I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it,” Gaga told Oprah, saying that after she earned success and fame in her early 20s, her body felt “intense pain” that mimicked the “illness” of being raped.

Jason KoernerGetty Images

Gaga was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia and now turns to various techniques to feel better—she takes both anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, works out daily, practices transcendent meditation along with talk therapy and DBT therapy—but she spent years suffering, not knowing why. “I just didn’t stop moving and working and dancing through insurmountable pain … It was so frustrating … I was improperly medicated and I wasn’t in therapy,” she told Oprah.

“I was afraid I was gonna die,” Gaga said, holding back tears. “I would say I lived that way for about five years. And I’d rather face that, those five years, because they made me who I am.”

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Stay tuned this week for the full video of @ladygaga and @oprah’s inspiring and powerful conversation at #oprahs2020visiontour 💥 @ww.now

A post shared by Born This Way Foundation (@btwfoundation) on Jan 4, 2020 at 1:36pm PST

Gaga said she eventually experienced a “psychotic break,” a term she first used with Oprah during their December 2019 Elle interview. “I was triggered, really badly, in a court deposition. This part of the brain where you stay centered and you don’t disassociate, right? It slammed down. My whole body started tingling and I started screaming. I was in a hospital. It’s very difficult to describe what it feels like other than that you first start to tingle from head to toe and then you go numb,” Gaga said.

“The brain goes, ‘That’s enough, I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.’ Boom. You break from reality as you know it. You have no concept of what’s going on around you. There is nothing wrong, but you are in a traumatic state. I remember going into the hospital and screaming, ‘Why is no one else panicking!?”

Because of that alarming hospital visit, she came out on the other side, and later received the proper healthcare, which now includes the “unorthodox set of pills” she takes. “ assembled a team for me and I went away to a place that I go to sometimes still for a reboot. They took care of me. They saved my life. And I’m very thankful,” Gaga said. “I know this is controversial in a lot of ways, but medicine really helped me.”

In retrospect, she understands how the dots connect, emphasizing that it’s now her mission to “solve this mental health crisis.”

“This happened for a reason. All the things I’ve been through. I was supposed to go through this. Even the rape—all of it. I radically accepted they happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m gonna show you pain. And then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it,” Gaga said. “Now, when I see someone in pain I can’t look away. I’m in pain too. Now, I’m in problem-solving mode. I’ve got my suit on and my heels and I’m ready to go.”

Joseph Zambrano

Aside from opening up about pain and mental health, Oprah also quizzed Gaga on her career—and what’s next.

Catch the full interview here:

And below, the biggest takeaways.

Fort Lauderdale, thank you for your warmth and fantastic generosity. And @ladygaga: Your willingness to ‘go there’ with your vulnerability opened all our hearts today. #Oprahs2020VisionTour pic.twitter.com/oN77amjNw3

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 5, 2020

On creating the Lady Gaga persona:

When I was younger, I went through a lot of struggles in high school. I was really bullied. I didn’t feel good about myself. I was made fun of, ‘Why do you want to be a singer? Why do you want to be a musician? Why do you want to be an actress?’ I felt so secluded and isolated … It was in creating Gaga that I was able to create a super hero for myself. It was the me that I wanted to be. I wanted to be confident. I wanted to be filled with self-compassion, filled with compassion for others. And I wanted to share my story and my vision of the world with the world.

Scott GriesGetty Images

On the shock-value behind her early performances and outfits:

It was something I enjoyed to bemuse people so they would listen to the music and there was sort of this state of confusion of, ‘Who is this woman?’ It’s kind of like watching a train wreck. The truth is that was part of my art form. How do I get people to see and watch and listen? And become engaged with me on a personal level? Even though it felt superficial for a lot of people —it’s changed since then because number one, it’s no longer shocking to have pink hair. Number two, I think the most shocking thing I can possibly do is be completely vulnerable and honest with you about my life, what I’ve been through, the struggles that I’ve seen and have been a part of and share that with the world.

Kevin WinterGetty Images

On making the world better:

When you give back to yourself you sit in a state of gratitude and then you are able to give to those around you and be kind. That is how we heal the world.

On self-harming:

I like to say I used to cut as opposed to I’m a cutter because I identify with it and that’s not healthy for me. When you speak things out into existence you’re feeding back something to your brain that you’re going to . Cutting for me, I believe, happens for a variety of reasons. I also used to throw myself against a wall. I mean, I used to do some horrible things to myself when I was in pain.

On keeping the identity of her rapist private:

Through the #MeToo movement I have made the personal choice not to say who it is because I choose to not relive it. That’s my personal choice. I hope that the world respects that.

On telling her fans about the “psychotic break”:

At some point, I had to tell people. I can’t live a lie, I’m an authentic person, and here I am, I’m perfectly imperfect and we all are. We all have our things that we go through. I felt like, “Why shouldn’t I share this when I share all of myself with the world all the time?’ And I could maybe help people that have had psychotic breaks.

Lady Gaga discussing her “psychotic break” and whether she worried that fans would find out about it. #Oprahs2020VisionTour #LadyGaga pic.twitter.com/Az9hpyg17G

— Jonathan Borge (@senorborge) January 4, 2020

On how long she’s worked on #LG6, her forthcoming untitled sixth album:

For years. Not four years, but for years. Uh-huh. Don’t worry, we’re having a self-care conversation but I still am going to make music, don’t worry. I think I have a few superpowers. I just haven’t used them all yet. I’m getting ready. I’ve got a wand in my purse.

#Oprah just asked #LadyGaga when #LG6 is coming out: #Oprahs2020VisionTour pic.twitter.com/Afc1qmjjZK

— Jonathan Borge (@senorborge) January 4, 2020

On what keeps her going:

Women like you. Faith. Inspiration. Hope … I have radically accepted that I will put my shame in a box and put it all the way over there and make it very small. And I say to myself, “I have mental health issues, I take a lot of medication to stay on board, and I’m a survivor and I’m living and I’m thriving and I’m strong and I’m gonna take all my life experiences and I’m gonna share them with the world and make it a better place.” … I want impact.

The truth is that once I became famous I thought to myself, I will and I want to continue making music, I want to continue making movies, but I want to help people. These people that come to my shows. I don’t want to just take your money and sing for you, I want to help change your life.

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Lady Gaga brings Oprah Winfrey to tears sharing heinous story of how she was ‘repeatedly raped’ as a teenager

In front of a packed 15,000 crowd, pop queen Lady Gaga opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the repeated sexual abuse she endured as a teen, prompting the media mogul to break down in tears.

Gaga candidly chatted about the fragility of her mental health, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from being “raped repeatedly” when she was just 19.

The ‘Shallow’ singer was the first star to grace Winfrey’s national tour, 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus last Saturday at Fort Lauderdale, US, reported Yahoo! Entertainment.

Lady Gaga suffered through ‘insurmountable pain’ after being ‘raped repeatedly’.

Stepping onto the stage revealing her electric pink hair, Gaga explained how she experienced as “psychotic break” as the divide between her pop star image and her rugged reality seemed to yawn apart.

Ridden with trauma to the extent that she couldn’t get out of bed, the abuse haunted her. Pushing through her pain as she rocketed to fame in her early 20s, her roaring success came in parallel to the “intense pain” that mimicked “the illness” of her assault.

With no support system at the time, she felt directionless: “I just didn’t stop moving and working and dancing through insurmountable pain.

“It was so frustrating,” she said, “I was improperly medicated and I wasn’t in therapy.

She revealed to Oprah in the vulnerable interview that after five years she was “afraid I was gonna die,” she said, her voice cracking, “and I’d rather face that, those five years, because they made me who I am.”

‘My whole body started tingling and I started screaming,’ says star.

The Star Is Born actor, hardened by her past, ultimately found release in the middle of a court deposition.

“This part of the brain where you stay centred and you don’t disassociate, right? It slammed down,” she said.

“My whole body started tingling and I started screaming. I was in a hospital.

“The brain goes: ‘That’s enough, I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.’

“Boom. You break from reality as you know it. You have no concept of what’s going on around you.”

Psychiatrists helped Gaga navigate her prolonged psychological trauma, including use of the “unorthodox set of pills” such as antipsychotic and anti-depressive medications.

Together with talk and dialectical behaviour therapy, Gaga carved out a path to her recovery and advocates for better understanding of mental health from primary care doctors.

“This happened for a reason,” she said.

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Fort Lauderdale, thank you for your warmth and fantastic generosity. And @ladygaga: Your willingness to ‘go there’ with your vulnerability opened all our hearts today. Watch our full interview this Wednesday 1/8 on @ww.now’s IGTV. #BigBiteOfBravery

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jan 5, 2020 at 8:08am PST

“All the things I’ve been through. I was supposed to go through this. Even the rape — all of it.

“I radically accepted they happened because God was saying to me: ‘I’m gonna show you pain. And then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it’.

“Now, when I see someone in pain I can’t look away. I’m in pain too. Now, I’m in problem-solving mode.

“I’ve got my suit on and my heels and I’m ready to go.”

Following the vulnerable interview, Gaga and Winfrey reunited backstage and away from the audience applause, sharing a tender hug as both icons broke down in tears.

Lady Gaga is a fierce champion for so many communities and issues, and part of her advocacy includes being incredibly open about her own struggles. She’s spoken out about her experience with sexual assault, mental health issues, PTSD, chronic pain, and much more, showing others who cope with the same things that they aren’t alone. In a new interview with Oprah, Lady Gaga continued to help people understand mental illness and its connection to chronic pain, and broke down the stigma around taking mental health medication.

As part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour, Gaga sat down with Oprah for a long talk. During the interview, the singer spoke honestly about her mental health, her experience with fibromyalgia, and how taking mental health medication has helped her “tremendously.”

Gaga previously spoke about being diagnosed with PTSD and fibromyalgia, but in her talk with Oprah she dove a little deeper into how the two things may be connected.

“I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old, and I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and also not processing that trauma. I did not have anyone help me, I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it,” she said. “I all of a sudden became a star and was traveling the world going from hotel room to garage to limo to stage, and I never dealt with it, and then all of a sudden I started to experience this incredible intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped.”

The singer went on to explain that her pain was part of a “trauma response.” According to the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia is a condition marked by widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. While doctors don’t know the exact cause of fibromyalgia, the Mayo Clinic notes that it can be triggered by physical and emotional trauma, or psychological stress.

After expanding on her struggle with mental health and chronic pain, Gaga opened up about the importance of medication. She called it a controversial topic, noting that there’s still intense stigma surrounding treating mental illness with medication, which is why it’s so important that the star is so honest about her own use of mental health medicine.

“Medication has helped me tremendously,” Gaga said. “I take an anti-psychotic. I would spiral very frequently and I would spasm in my sleep.”

Speaking openly about her own mental health medication can help reduce the stigma associated with treating mental illness, helping others realize that there’s nothing bad or wrong about getting any sort of medical treatment — whether it’s for your mind or your body.

“Medicine really helped me. A lot of people are afraid of medicine for their brains to help them. I really want to erase the stigma around this,” she said. “I’m sick of saying it over and over again. Not everybody has access to these things, not everybody has money for these things. I want the money for it, I want the best doctors in the world, and I want us to understand the brain and get on the same page about it so Gen Z does not have to deal with this the way we are right now. Mental health is a crisis.”

Lady Gaga opens up about having a mental illness

The singer said she has never told anyone before.

Lady Gaga recently visited an LGBT homeless shelter to speak to the young people living there.

While at the Ali Forney centre she spoke about her own personal pain and how it helped her empathise with others.

“I love to give things to people that have nothing or less than me. These children are not just homeless or in need. Many of them are trauma survivors; they’ve been rejected in some kind of way,” she said.

“My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.” She added, according to Today.

The singer has spoken openly about being raped when she was 19, and told the young people in the shelter about how it affected her.

“I told the kids today that I suffer from a mental illness. I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” Gaga 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.”

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a mental health condition that’s triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Lady Gaga also donated some of her clothes to the shelter and performed some songs for the people there.

She explained that as well as the help of her friends and doctors, being kind aided her journey.

“I’d been searching for ways to heal myself. I found that kindness is the best way. The one way to help people that have trauma is to inject them with as many positive thoughts as possible.” She said.

The 30-year-old also recently spoke about suffering from chronic pain.

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10 Things We Learned From Lady Gaga’s Interview With Oprah

“I remember sitting with my doctor,” she said. “His name’s Andy, and Andy’s like, ‘You need to radically accept that you’re going to be in pain every day.’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? That’s how I’m going to heal, just by accepting that I going to feel awful all the time?'”

Little by little, a regimen of medication, meditation, therapy and exercise lessened the pain and made it more manageable.

“All of a sudden, I could function,” she said, and she’s dedicated herself to learning more about the disease. “There’s the neurospych aspect. There’s also an immunity aspect where there is a possibility that the immune system has something to do with fibromyalgia or trauma response or neuropathic pain, whatever you want to call it. There’s some similarities in my condition to autoimmune diseases, but fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease.”

“What I would like for you to know and to shine a light on is that many people don’t know what it is, and we need to all get together and figure this out,” Gaga said.

She Wants to Dispel the Stigma Around Medication

While society struggles to accept and recognize mental illness as a legitimate medical condition, it also struggles to normalize taking the proper medication. Gaga says her “unorthodox” prescriptions have saved her life.

“If I took my pillbox out, it would sound like a rattle,” she said. “I don’t mean to laugh, but it’s kind of funny — but I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my whole life … I take an antipsychotic. I’m in the 1.4 percentile of people that do. I would spiral very frequently and I would spasm in my sleep.”

She and her psychiatrist have come up with a medicinal formula that leaves her feeling creative and capable, and while she sings the praises of medicinal psychological help, she feels very strongly that no human should ever turn to narcotic pain pills.

“People become addicted,” she said, “and there is a correlation between mental health and chronic pain, and mental health is the biggest crisis in the world. What’s happening is, while mental health is the biggest health crisis that we have, there’s also chronic neuropathic pain being produced.”

How to Problem Solve Our Depression

Along with her medication, Gaga believes deeply in therapy, including dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT. Sessions give her the tools to incorporate healthy coping mechanisms into her everyday life, such as opposite action practice (if you’re depressed and have been in the house for a week straight, go outside with a trusted friend) and if-then problem solving.

“Say I’m upset,” she explained, “Then I’ll say, why am I upset? I will write down all the reasons, and then I will check the facts. If the emotion of feeling upset fits the facts, then I’ll go to the next stage and I will say, ‘What action am I going to take now to solve this problem?’ So if I’m upset because I’m in pain, then what’s my action going to be? I’m going to take my medication that’s going to help me. I’m going to reach out to a friend or my doctor and tell them that I’m not feeling well. I’m going to try to get to the core of the issue inside of me and speak it out into existence, do the cognitive work to say ‘I am upset because today I am triggered about being raped when I was 19, and I’m having a trauma response, and I’m going to take my medication, and I’m going to try to calm down my nervous system as much as possible so that this pain dissipates.’”

She is Tackling the Mental Health Crisis Head On

Her experience with depression and fibromyalgia has awaked Gaga to her own pain and suffering and how to heal it. Now, she wants to share that awareness and wisdom with the world.

“I was supposed to go through this, even the rape, all of it,” she said. “I think it happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m going to show you pain, and then you’re going to help other people who are in pain, because you’re going to understand it.’ … I take an oath as a commitment today with you: It’s 2020, and over the next decade and maybe longer, I’m going to get the smartest scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, mathematicians, researchers and professors in the same room together. And we are going to go through each problem one by one, and we are going to solve this mental health crisis.”

The Born This Way Foundation has already helped put mental health first aid in schools across the country, and Gaga is committed to getting that help in every school she can.

“I want mental health to be its own class,” she said. “What is health class, sex ed? Is that what we’re still doing? We should be learning about the brain and the heart, and the mind and the body and its connection and all the things. I want there to be someone in every school that someone can go to if they’re in need of help, or that someone can go to if they see that someone else needs help. At the same time, it a requirement in every school that you learn about the importance of kindness, about triggers, and you learn about depression.”

She is Working on New Music

Oprah let slip that she is working with Prince Harry on a show for Apple TV, and that part of this show will follow Lady Gaga and her journey with mental health, but Oprah also got down to the nitty gritty: When will fans get LG6?

“Don’t worry,” she said coyly. “I’ve been working on it for year … We’re having a self-care conversation, but I still am going to make music.”

Lady Gaga shares mental health struggle, thoughts of suicide: ‘My inner voice shut down’

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BEVERLY HILLS — Lady Gaga pre-empted her speech Thursday night about the need for mental health programs with a warning.

“I feel very much like I do not belong here,” the pop star-turned-Oscar-buzzworthy actress said to actors and producers at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s annual fundraiser Patron Of the Artists Awards, where Spike Lee, Harrison Ford and Jeffrey Katzenberg were also honored.

“So I spent three-and-a-half hours writing what I was going to say. And as I’ve been sitting here all night, I’ve been going, ‘Oh my God, your speech is too long and everybody’s going to get bored.’ “

At about 20 minutes, the speech was long, yes. But the room of actors was riveted by what Gaga said from the podium about kindness, mental health outreach and her own struggles.

“We are losing a generation of young people who do not believe that their voices are worth hearing,” she said, suggesting that SAG-AFTRA partner with Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to provide mental health teams for those suffering. “The need in this world for kindness is paralyzing. The negative news and tragedies are nonstop and overwhelming.”

Lady Gaga pushing for more mental health programs at #patronawards: “We are losing a generation of young people who do not believe that their voices are worth hearing.” pic.twitter.com/Oomw49sgQw

— Carly Mallenbaum (@ThatGirlCarly) November 9, 2018

She referenced the shooting Wednesday night at a California bar that left 13 dead, including the suspected gunman.

“We need to share our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in the darkness,” she said. “It is dangerous and we know this, because amongst other shootings and acts of violence, just last night there was a shooting in Thousand Oaks by a veteran who was believed to have suffered from untreated post-traumatic-stress disorder (according to authorities he had an episode of erratic behavior last spring that suggested PTSD) which is a mental issue. We know that this is dangerous, we know that it’s important and we have to pay attention to it.”

Experts say the actions of the California bar shooting suspect Ian David Long, 28, a Marine Corps veteran, should not be blamed on PTSD.

Lady Gaga continued: “When I speak about mental health, especially when I’m speaking about mine, it is often met with quietness. Or maybe, a somber line of fans, waiting outside to whisper to me in the shadows about their darkest secrets. We need to bring mental health into the light.”

As a way of example, Gaga shared her own “list” of issues she’s had to deal with.

She’s had “symptoms of dissociation and PTSD” which turned into “physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior.”

After years of saying ‘yes’ to every job opportunity she was offered, the word ‘yes’ “became too automatic, and my inner voice shut down, which I have learned now is very unhealthy,” she said. “I was not empowered to say no. I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes. I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away.

“I’m telling you this, because for me it was too late,” she said. “I wish I had mental health resources then.”

The evening’s MC, Rachel Bloom, was so compelled by Gaga’s speech that she opened up about her own mental illnesses before closing the show.

“I, too, suffer from anxiety and depression. I thank God every day for my Prozac. And part of the reason I have treatment is because I can afford it,” Bloom said. “I just want to say thank you to Lady Gaga for that speech.”

On Thursday night in Beverly Hills, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation honored Harrison Ford, Lady Gaga, Spike Lee and Jeffrey Katzenberg. The third-annual event, called the Patron of the Artists Awards, raised money for programs that benefit actors. Plenty of stars were there for support, including Ryan Gosling who toasted his “Blade Runner 2049” co-star from the stage. Charley Gallay, (Credit too long, see caption) Harrison Ford spent his acceptance speech emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts. “Nature doesn’t need people,” he said. “People need nature.” Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Sam Elliott introduced his “Star is Born” co-star Gaga, who he called Stefanie, as someone with “a voice like no other that seems to resonate from somewhere deep in her soul.” Look who’s talking. Charley Gallay, (Credit too long, see caption) Gaga posed on the carpet with Patron Awards host Rachel Bloom. Charley Gallay, (Credit too long, see caption) Bloom opened the show by sharing anecdotes about the struggles of being an actor and how she recalls a time a casting director didn’t want to shake her hand. “It happened to me once for ‘Last Man Standing,'” she said. “It didn’t go well.” Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Gaga accepted her award with an impassioned speech about mental health. “We are losing a generation of young people who do not believe that their voices are worth hearing,” she said, advocating for more programs that could help. LISA O’CONNOR, AFP/Getty Images At the show, Adam Lambert sang a wonderful rendition of “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen (and recently in “Bohemian Rhapsody’). Charley Gallay, (Credit too long, see caption) Adam Driver, left, poses with Henry Winkler, Spike Lee, one of the night’s honorees, and Geoffrey Owens. Winkler presented at the event with Owens. The two talked about how their lives went very different directions after they both had successful TV shows (“Happy Days” and “The Cosby Show,” respectively). Charley Gallay, (Credit too long, see caption) Guillermo del Toro was on hand to present his good friend and “cyborg,” as he joked, Jeffrey Katzenberg an award. Charley Gallay/Getty Images Kristin Chenoweth performed a soulful song from the original “Star is Born.” Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic John David Washington helped present an award to Spike Lee along with … Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic “BlacKkKlansman” co-star Topher Grace and … Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic co-star Adam Driver. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Spike Lee spent his time at the mic talking about his love for actors. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Adam Driver posed with honorees Spike Lee and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Singer Arlissa gave a powerful performance of “We Won’t Move” from movie “The Hate U Give” on Thursday. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Ledisi also sang, and earned a standing ovation. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic The evening’s presenters included Alison Brie. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic Jason George, too. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic And Michelle Yeoh. Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic

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More: ‘I wear the pants’: Lady Gaga reveals reason behind oversize suit in powerful speech

Lady Gaga has spoken openly about dealing with mental illness, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. In a dedicated to ending the stigma around mental illness, the superstar’s mother opened up about what it was like to see the mental health of her daughter, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, take a “turn.”

“Stefani was very unique. And that wasn’t always appreciated by her peers. And as a result, she went through a lot of difficult times. Humiliated, taunted, isolated. When you’re a young woman, this really severely impacts you. And it was in middle school when I saw that turn happen,” Cynthia Germanotta said. “She went from a very happy and aspirational young girl to somebody that started to question her self-worth, to have doubts about herself. That is when we actually saw the turn.”

  • How to talk about mental health, according to the experts
  • Mental health resources: How to get help for yourself or your loved ones

But what Germanotta says she didn’t realize at the time, was how ill-equipped she was to help her daughter deal with it.

“When I was growing up, times were different. The way that we would deal with things is what I learned. That’s what I resorted to. You know, I relied on getting a grip. I relied on the generational grit of just sucking it up and getting on with it,” she said.

For Germanotta, one of the most difficult parts of being a parent to a child struggling with their mental health was knowing what was “normal” and what wasn’t.

Germanotta would go on to team up with her daughter to create the Born This Way Foundation which works to educate people about mental and emotional wellness. Her message to parents going through something similar: Listen.

“I think as parents, our natural instinct is to go into problem-solving mode. When, in fact, you know, they really just want us to take them seriously and understand what they’re saying,” she said.

“We’ve learned from our research that young people often don’t turn to their parents because they feel – there’s fear of being judged. Also, we as parents, we don’t talk about our own struggles. I encourage parents to be vulnerable. Talk about your current or past struggles. So it really models healthy conversations and good behavior. The biggest thing is to really talk to them. And it’s certainly okay to not be okay.”

Sølve Sundsbø
Once again, Lady Gaga has proven she is the queen of her own castle, now adding Haus Laboratories, her makeup line, to groundbreaking accomplishments in music and film. In a recent meeting of the first-name-only-required greats, Gaga spoke to Oprah, the original multifaceted female mogul and an early champion of emotional well-being, about her exponential career path and her battles with mental health issues. Cape, crop top, both, Louis Vuitton. Hand ring, Yeprem. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø

The two women consider it a personal quest to lift the stigma and shame that can surround mental illness, and the role that each has played in opening up the global dialogue is undeniable: Oprah teamed up with Prince Harry earlier this year to create a documentary series exploring the issue (out in 2020), and Gaga was invited to meet with Prince William in London to discuss mental health initiatives they could work on together, but was unable to attend as she needed to be with her doctors. Here, Gaga opens up to her hero about her personal growth from both pain and kindness.

Oprah: I first interviewed you almost 10 years ago in 2010 on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and I could see then and feel, energetically, you blossoming into yourself. You were at this moment where you were wide open to your own self-discovery and self-expression. How have you become more of yourself in the past 10 years?

Lady Gaga: I think as my career has grown and changed and I’ve done different things, I’ve become very mindful of my position in the world and my responsibility to humanity and to those who follow me. And I consider myself to be a kindness punk. I look back at everything I’ve done, and I look at what I’m doing now, and punks, you know, have a sort of reputation for being rebellious, right? So for me, I really view my career, and even what I’m doing now, as a rebellion against all the things in the world that I see to be unkind. Kindness heals the world. Kindness heals people. It’s what brings us together—it’s what keeps us healthy.

When you look back on the past 10 years, at what moment do you feel that you were most able to express that kindness heals all things?

I think it really started with my relationship with my fans. Looking out into the audience and seeing so many people who were like me, people who felt different, who didn’t feel seen or understood. And then also seeing a lot of kids who felt afraid to be open about who they were, it became sort of an existential experience for me, where I thought about what it means to be an individual—I wanted to fight for those individuals. I actually said this the other day on social media. I said, “I didn’t do this for fame, I did it for impact.” And that’s the truth. I recognized very early on that my impact was to help liberate people through kindness. I mean, I think it’s the most powerful thing in the world, particularly in the space of mental illness.

Pants, Armani Privé. Hat, Balmain. Hoop earrings, bracelets, rings, all, Cartier. Rings, both, Tiffany & Co. Stylist’s own bralette. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø. Styled by Tom Eerebout and Sandra Amador.

Have you known that since you were at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and dropped out after a year, and then pretended to be your own manager and hauled your keyboard from gig to gig—you knew it then, right?

Well, that was a bit cunning. I don’t know that that was completely kind. But I learned from my mom, Oprah. When I would come home from school, if I was bullied, she would always say, “Kill them with kindness.” And maybe “kill them” is an aggressive way of saying it, but, you know, she meant it in the kindest of ways. What she meant was, “Don’t fight fire with fire; fight fire with water.”

“I recognized very early on that my impact was to help liberate people through kindness. I mean, I think it’s the most powerful thing in the world.”

I want to say I think the thing that you have done the most with, and the best, in a way that now the whole world is sort of coming to understand—we see it all through social media—was starting the Born This Way Foundation. You were making a statement to people that however you are is how you’re supposed to be. I want to know what advice you have for people who are still afraid to be themselves, who are living a false life.

I think I would say that, truthfully, it’s not false. If you are not yet out in the open about who you are, I would have compassion for yourself that you’re not ready yet, and take steps every day.

That really is kind.

You know, it’s very easy to say to someone, “Be brave,” but it’s not so easy to practice. I mean, if you feel shame for who you are, and you don’t feel supported by people around you, you’re afraid. Shame is powerful. But give yourself time. Allow yourself to take little bites every day. That’s what I would say: Take little bites of bravery. I wouldn’t say it’s a false life. I would say that’s a reality, and that reality can change. That’s actually also why I made Haus Laboratories, truthfully.

Blazer, blouse, hat, scarf, all, Marc Jacobs. Earring, Cartier. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø. Styled by Tom Eerebout and Sandra Amador.

Let’s talk about this. What made you feel ready to become a beauty entrepreneur?

I wanted to do it because (a), I had the time—I wanted to put everything into it, which I do with everything that I do. I don’t just put a company together, hire a staff, and have them do it. I said this the other night at our launch: “My fingerprints are all over this. It’s a crime scene.” And (b), I felt that I had the platform and had built the foundation around what I stand for, so that when this company came out, it would be a rebellion in a kind way against the status quo of beauty as it is today, which is in many ways on social media, a competition. It’s a beauty pageant in a lot of ways. This company exists in an influential space in culture where we say, “Our Haus. Your Rules.” And everyone is welcome—all gender identities.

So that’s the mission of the line, to be inclusive of all gender identities?

All gender identities, all racial identities, everyone, every age. This is for everyone.

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Aren’t you constantly amazed at the power beauty has to uplift people? I just remember being in a hospital where women were getting their fistulas mended in Ethiopia and we were handing out lipsticks, and they were literally trying to crawl out of bed to get to them.

It’s very powerful, and I felt so just not beautiful when I was young, and when I left college, my parents were not very pleased with me at the time. I said I wanted to be a musician. I worked three jobs, paid my own rent, and went to the drugstore to buy makeup. I experimented with color, and I looked at myself in the mirror, and I literally made myself. I invented Lady Gaga. And it made me feel strong, it made me feel powerful. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a little girl, but oh my goodness, the superhero that flew out of me, it was like Clark Kent and Superman—it gave me wings to fly. And that’s also why I refused to change. As my career progressed, even before I was famous, when people would say, “Oh, the makeup, there’s too much makeup. It’s over the top, blah, blah, blah,” I would be like, “This is my life force. This is what helps me fly.”

I’m wondering, Do you still feel pressure to constantly outdo yourself? Is it a shackle on you in any way?

Not anymore. I used to, though. Oprah, I’ve got to level with you 100 percent: I used to try to wrap my brain as heavy as I could around what I could do to…. Instead of being shocking (I used to say “shock art” or “performance art”), I would use the word “bemuse,” which is basically putting the audience in a state of confusion where they can’t look away. I used to just go, “What am I going to do next to get people’s attention?”

“You have a much greater mission on this earth than to freak the hell out of people. Your mission is to give people a form of love through your art that lifts them up.”

After the meat dress, did you feel that way: “Where do I go from here?”

Well, the meat dress, quite frankly, I didn’t think it was going to be as shocking to everyone as it was. But that’s just me. I have a sort of eccentric brain, so for me, I was like, Of course this makes sense. I’m showing up to make a statement about “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” I went to the event with soldiers who were discharged from the army because they were out, or they were found out, and to me, if you’re willing to give up your life for your country, does it matter what your sexual orientation is or what your gender identity is? For me, it was like, “Flesh is flesh,” so that was the intention of the meat dress. For me, that wasn’t shocking; it was shocking to the world. And I have to say, it was quite recently—after doing A Star Is Born, and working with Bradley Cooper, and my experience even with winning an Oscar—I sort of just went to myself, “You have a much greater mission on this earth than to freak the hell out of people. Your mission is to give people a form of love through your art that lifts them up.”

Skirt-dress, top, earrings, all, Schiaparelli Haute Couture. Pants, Area. Gloves, Wing & Weft Gloves. Pumps, Gianvito Rossi. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø. Styled by Tom Eerebout and Sandra Amador.

I have to ask you one question about Bradley. I was sitting in Bradley’s kitchen the other day, and he was taking care of his daughter, and we ordered takeout, and it was just wonderful to see him lean into the dad thing.

He’s a beautiful father.

Isn’t he a beautiful father? He’s all the way in. We were talking about all the rumors about you guys last year. He said if they had been true, he never would have been able to look you in the eye sitting at that piano.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

He said his Catholic guilt would have never let him be able to look you in the eye at that piano. How did you feel about all of that at the time? You handled it so well.

Quite frankly, I think the press is very silly. I mean, we made a love story. For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars. We wanted it to go right through the lens of that camera and to every television that it was being watched on. And we worked hard on it, we worked for days. We mapped the whole thing out—it was orchestrated as a performance.

You were orchestrating it as a performance to evoke exactly what it did.

It did. In truth, when we talked about it, we went, “Well, I guess we did a good job!”

Skirt-dress, top, earrings, all, Schiaparelli Haute Couture. Pants, Area. Gloves, Wing & Weft Gloves. Pumps, Gianvito Rossi. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø

So well received. You put so much energy into that film, and then it became one of the biggest movies of the year. What was it like when it was all over? How did you say goodbye to the character of Ally and the whole experience?

Well, actually, the character of Ally stayed with me for a long time. I had to relive a lot of my career doing that role. I don’t know how you feel when you’ve acted, but for me, I don’t view it as filming a movie. I film it as living the character, and it’s a moment in my life, so I relived it all again, and it took a long time for it to go away. When I won the Oscar for “Shallow,” I looked at it, and a reporter asked me, “When you look at that Oscar, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a lot of pain.” And I wasn’t lying in that moment. I was raped when I was 19 years-old, repeatedly. I have been traumatized in a variety of ways by my career over the years from many different things, but I survived, and I’ve kept going. And when I looked at that Oscar, I saw pain. I don’t know that anyone understood it when I said it in the room, but I understood it.

The pain that you had taken to get there. Because when you’re raped, particularly repeatedly and at that age, you would have PTSD for years about that.

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. But you know what, Oprah? I kept going, and that kid out there or even that adult out there who’s been through so much, I want them to know that they can keep going, and they can survive, and they can win their Oscar. 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.”

“I have been traumatized in a variety of ways by my career over the years from many different things, but I survived, and I’ve kept going.”

Which is the greatest gift I think we can give each other. I mean, that’s why I think Avatar and James Cameron is one of the wizards of our generation: because of that message, “I see you.” There is nothing more powerful than that.

There really isn’t. I’ve actually not opened up very much about this, but I think it’s an important thing for people to know and hear: 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. I say that with a lot of humility and strength; I’m very grateful that I don’t do it anymore, and I wish to not glamorize it. 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.

Have you also used DBT therapy?

I actually have a teacher; I take dialectical behavioral therapy. I think that DBT is a wonderful, wonderful way to deal with mental health issues.

I ask because I’ve had so many girls at my school struggle with this.

It’s a really strong way of learning how to live, and it’s a guide to understanding your emotions.

Jacket, pants, both, Armani Privé. Earrings, Rodarte. Gloves, Wing & We Gloves. Bracelet, Givenchy. Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø

It needs to be a much bigger conversation. I want to know, What did you once believe was insurmountable, and in the end, you realized, the solution was so easy?

I once believed that there was no way back from my trauma. I really did. I was in physical, mental, and emotional pain. And medicine works, but you need medicine with the therapy for it to really work, because there’s a part that you have to do yourself.

Is this suffering from your fibromyalgia?

It is. Although there are many different theories about fibromyalgia—for me, my fibromyalgia and my trauma response kind of go hand in hand. The fibro for me is a lighter pain; the trauma response is much heavier and actually feels the way I felt after I was dropped on a street corner after I’d been raped repeatedly for months. It’s a recurring feeling. So I had a psychotic break at one point, and it was one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me. I was brought to the ER to urgent care and they brought in the doctor, a psychiatrist. So I’m just screaming, and I said, “Could somebody bring me a real doctor?” And I didn’t understand what was going on, because my whole body went numb; I fully dissociated. I was screaming, and then he calmed me down and gave me medication for when that happens—olanzapine.

I’m familiar with it. I have hundreds of girls, so there’s nothing you can tell me I haven’t been through or experienced.

Yeah, so I take methocarbamol, and olanzapine, which is probably the most important—it helped me that day, and that man and all my friends, they saved my life.

Blazer, vest, blouse, scarf, and hat from Marc Jacobs. Earring from Cartier Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø

This is my last question: What do you believe life is asking of us?

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?

Styled by Tom Erebout and Sandra Amador; Hair by Frederic Aspiras for Joico; makeup by Sarah Tanno for Haus Laboratories; manicure by Miho Okawara for Miho Nails; produced by Joy Asbury at Joy Asbury Productions.

To hear the full interview listen to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast available now.

This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of ELLE.

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