Singer Lady Gaga has opened up about how an injury during her Born This Way Ball tour left her battling with post-traumatic stress disorder, in a heartfelt statement posted on her charity website.
Speaking through the Born This Way Foundation, she addressed the “shame attached to mental illness” and told people living with mental health problems that “there is hope and a chance for recovery”.
Explaining difficulties she faced in the earlier years of her career, the 30-year-old wrote: “I was overworked and not taken seriously when I shared my pain and concern that something was wrong. I ultimately ended up injured on the Born This Way Ball.
I wrote a letter sharing my experience w/ PTSD. I want 2 help others understand what it is + how to get or give help https://t.co/7wmuvNLcT5— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) December 7, 2016
“That moment and the memory of it has changed my life forever.
“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.”
She said that her diagnosis has made it a “daily effort” for her to balance her nerves in everyday situations, such as leaving the house or being approached by strangers.
She described the effects of her experiences on her brain as being “paralysed with fear”, adding that her anxiety causes her emotional and physical pain.
“When this happens I can’t talk,” she said.
“It’s harder to do my job. It’s harder to do simple things like take a shower. Everything has become harder.”
But she said that the treatment and support she has received helped her to combat her issues and pledged to do the same for others struggling with mental health.
She said: “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 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.
“I pledge not only to help our youth not feel ashamed of their own conditions, but also to lend support to those servicemen and women who suffer from PTSD. No one’s invisible pain should go unnoticed.
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In 77% of the these cases Parent rejection and abuse are the primary cause for the kids being homeless and believe it's linked to them coming out. So help out @albertkennedytrust and the @btwfoundation to raise awareness to these locations and donate money to help these incredible youth survivors transition into their adulthood with dignity and promise. #NoRoomForHate
“I believe that the most inexpensive and perhaps the best medicine in the world is words.
“I am starting today, because secrets keep you sick. And I don’t want to keep this secret anymore.”
Earlier in the week, Lady Gaga revealed her PTSD diagnosis for the first time in a programme broadcast by NBC’s Today programme in Australia.
Talking to young people at a shelter for LGBT youth about how she uses meditation to help her “calm down”, she said: “I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day.
“I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before.”
:: Read the full statement here.