Lady Gaga on Not Letting Pain and Depression 'Ruin' Her Life: 'I Still Work on Myself Constantly'
"If you're in pain and listening to this music, just know that I know what it's like to be in pain," said the singer about her upcoming album Chromatica
Lady Gaga finds that happiness is still attainable amid the saddest of times.
In a new cover story for Paper published on Monday, the “Stupid Love” singer, 33, opens up to the magazine about her forthcoming album Chromatica, explaining how the new record is a culmination of her processing trauma and battling depression.
“Give me a break, [happiness is] not that simple,” said Gaga. “I have clinical depression. There’s something going on in my brain where the dopamine and serotonin are not firing the same way, and I can’t get there. If someone says, ‘Come on, just be happy,’ I’m like, ‘You f—ing be happy.'”
Added the artist of writing her new music through dark times: “It came from thinking on some days I was going to die. I was like, ‘I’m going to die soon, so I better say something important.’ Now I listen to it and know that I’m going to live.”
Gaga explained that with Chromatica, she wanted something that “forces people to rejoice even in their saddest moments” — a notion important to herself, as well, as she continues to “fight all the time” for her well-being.
“I still work on myself constantly,” she said. “I have bad days, I have good days. Yeah, I live in Chromatica; it took a minute to get here, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember what happened.”
She added: “So if you’re in pain and listening to this music, just know that I know what it’s like to be in pain. And I know what it’s like to also not let it ruin your life.”
In January, the Oscar winner had a candid conversation with Oprah Winfrey as part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour stop in Fort Lauderdale, speaking about mental health. During the discussion, Gaga opened up about developing PTSD after being sexually assaulted at 19, at first not seeking treatment for the trauma. “I never dealt with it,” she said.
Now, the “Til It Happens to You” singer said she wants to share what she’s learned about processing negative experiences in her art.
“I’m a survivor and I’m living and I’m thriving and I’m strong, and I’m going to take all my life experiences and I’m going to share them with the world and make it a better place,” she told Winfrey, 66, at the time.
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Gaga was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2017, a chronic condition that renders her full body in pain during periods of stress. The pain became so excruciating, she told Paper, that she “couldn’t get off the couch” at certain points while recording Chromatica, out April 10.
Gaga’s collaborator, producer BloodPop, helped her push through to encourage her during her low points.
“He’d be like: ‘Come on, let’s go. We’re going to make music.’ And I’d be maybe crying or venting about something that was happening in my life over some pain or depression I was feeling,” she said. “I’d start out the day so down and I’d end up dancing, looking in the mirror, practicing my moves, singing along.”
She continued: “Every day was an enlightening experience, but it had to happen every day.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.