Lady Gaga Admits to PTSD - How Many Others Suffer in Silence?

Updated on December 18, 2016
Christina St-Jean profile image

Christina grew up with an alcoholic parent. Today she is a mom to two awesome children who teach her more than she ever thought possible.

Lady Gaga Deserves Some "Applause"

When Lady Gaga first hit the music scene, there were many who questioned this seemingly avant garde singer. Who wears a meat dress? Who shows up to an awards show, ostensibly to promote a new album, hidden away in an egg to symbolize a rebirth? Though the power of her music was undeniable, there was much about how she promoted herself—those clothes, that hair, those shoes!—that completely confused a lot of people.

Now, however, she's using her star power to shine the spotlight on an issue that is getting increasing attention through social media and other venues—mental health issues; specifically, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2014, Gaga admitted to being raped at 19, and on November 25, during a visit to the Ali Forney LGBTQ homeless shelter, she acknowledged her struggles with PTSD.

“My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others,” Gaga said while talking with Today. “I told the kids today that I suffer from a mental illness. I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told that to anyone before, so here we are.”

She then took the kids at the homeless shelter through a meditation exercise designed to calm and improve focus. Her visit to the homeless shelter was a surprise to almost all of the staff and to those staying at the shelter, who started screaming when they realized who was coming in bearing clothes and donuts.

It is not easy to reveal a mental illness, both to those who do not know you well and to those that do. In disclosing her battle with PTSD, Lady Gaga has promoted the idea that it is okay to discuss mental illness in the hopes that the stigma about it be lessened.

In a tweet, Lady Gaga noted that secrets keep you "sick with shame" and do not promote healing, which so many with mental illness need.

Her visit kicked off a campaign designed to encourage people to share kindness, which she says ultimately saved her life when it was shown to her.

"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," she acknowledged."I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way."

Sharing Secrets In Hopes Of Healing


A New Hope

It's not easy to disclose that you have a mental illness, and being so open about her own struggles with mental health has allowed Lady Gaga to understand her fans a bit better than some. She acknowledged that understanding during her interview with Today, and credits both kindness and learning how to calm herself as ways to help her as she continues to recover.

Finding out how to heal yourself from a mental health condition can take a lifetime and be exhausting. Anyone with any sort of mental health struggle - whether that struggle is PTSD or anxiety or depression or the so many other illnesses out in the world - knows the dedication and hard work that comes with healthfully coping with a mental health condition. It's made even more exhausting because so few people know that you are struggling, and healing can come easier if you have a team who's got your back.

But so many with mental health conditions like PTSD don't know how to express what's happening. It seems as though we lack the language to discuss mental health conditions fluently, and that in large part is still due to the stigma that surrounds mental health in general. Words like "crazy" or "weak" tend to be thrown thoughtlessly about, and that only further promotes a lack of understanding and compassion. When someone decides to try and find help, they are either met with a lack of funds to pay for the support or a lack of adequately trained personnel.

While Lady Gaga is by no means a counsellor, what she has done in discussing PTSD so openly is tacitly given people the go-ahead to talk. If one of the biggest pop stars on the planet can talk about what she has endured in the 11 years since her rape, it seems a lot more okay to try and discuss mental health among us "normal" people. That alone can give people the hope they need that there are people that actually understand how they're feeling rather than trying to continue to hide from the world.

By igniting the conversation about PTSD, Lady Gaga may have given some with this condition or other mental health conditions hope that there truly are people who understand out there. That hope could be enough for people to try and obtain the help they need and want.

Survivorship Can Be Powerful


Til It Happens To You

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)