Lady Gaga’s Open Letter Details Her Daily Battle with Mental Illness
Earlier this week, Lady Gaga revealed that she is struggling from PTSD.
On a “Today” show appearance, she shared, "I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I've never told anyone that before, so here we are… 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.”
In an open letter on her Born This Way Foundation website, Gaga went into detail about the daily struggles she faces from PTSD. She revealed, "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. Examples are leaving the house or being touched by strangers who simply want to share their enthusiasm for my music.”
"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,” Gaga continued. "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. That moment and the memory of it has changed my life forever. The experience of performing night after night in mental and physical pain ingrained in me a trauma that I relive when I see or hear things that remind me of those days."
Along with PTSD, Gaga revealed that she is also struggling with dissociation. “My mind doesn't want to relive the pain so 'I look off and I stare' in a glazed over state. As my doctors have taught me, I cannot express my feelings because my pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain that controls logical, orderly thought) is overridden by the amygdala (which stores emotional memory) and sends me into a fight or flight response. 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.”
The dissociation makes her PTSD worse. She said, "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. It's harder to do simple things like take a shower. Everything has become harder.”