Lady Gaga is bravely opening up about the lasting effects of rape trauma.
“No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain. And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal,” said Gaga, who first disclosed her rape during an interview with Howard Stern in 2014.
The Grammy winner also detailed how she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the symptoms she continues to combat.
“For me, with my mental health issues, half of the battle in the beginning was, I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew,” she said. “So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD, because I don’t want to hide—any more than I already have to.”
Gaga further described, “I feel stunned. Or stunted. You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re just about to go down the really steep slope? That fear and the drop in your stomach? My diaphragm seizes up. Then I have a hard time breathing, and my whole body goes into a spasm. And I begin to cry. That’s what it feels like for trauma victims every day, and it’s… miserable. I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”
In addition, the star opened up about her chronic pain and fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness as well as fatigue along with sleep, memory and mood issues.
“I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real. For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result,” Gaga said. “People need to be more compassionate. Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.”
In her 2017 Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, she shed light on the extent of her pain, even giving fans a look at her undergoing treatments to help ease muscle spasms.