Lady Gaga has shared her experience of mental illness and self harm in a frank interview with Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey.
Gaga appeared on the pair’s new Apple TV docuseries, The Me You Can’t See, where she told how she suffered a “total psychotic break” after being left pregnant by her alleged rapist.
The Rain on Me Singer said she could not share the name of her attacker, only that the incident occurred when she was 19 and at he was a producer she worked with at the start of her music career.
‘I just froze’
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, told how the producer threatened to burn her music if she did not take her clothes off.
The 34-year-old became emotional as she told how the producer “didn’t stop asking me,” adding: “and then I just froze, and I just – I don’t even remember.
“I do not ever want to face that person again.”
She told Oprah and Prince Harry that her experience of rape brought on years of pain and trauma, which she finally sought medical treatment for and was shocked to be treated by a psychiatrist.
“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb and then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after,” she said.
“I realised that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner, at my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick.
‘But your body remembers’
“Because I’d been abused. I was locked away in a studio for months.”
The pop star has previously shared how she suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that causes acute and chronic pain throughout the body.
In 2018, she told Vogue she was tired of others labelling the condition as “all in your head”, as it was previously difficult to diagnose the illness.
In the interview, she said: “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 went on to tell Oprah and Harry how the traumatic experience changed her as a person.
“I had a total psychotic break, and for a couple years, I was not the same girl,” she said, “The way that I feel when I feel pain was how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans where they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers.”
‘tell somebody, don’t show somebody.’
The singer said she has felt like “there’s a black cloud that is following you wherever you go telling you that you are worthless and should die”.
She then shared how those thoughts led to self-harm, in a bid to make herself “feel better,” and was an attempt at a cry for help.
She said: “You know why it’s not good to cut? You know why it’s not good to throw yourself against the wall? You know why it’s not good to self-harm? Because it makes you feel worse. You think you’re going to feel better because you’re showing somebody, ‘Look, I’m in pain’. It doesn’t help.
“I always tell people, ‘tell somebody, don’t show somebody.”
Gaga said her mental health has improved, but it was “a slow rise” not a linear process which took two and a half years.
She said: “Even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad. And when I say ‘feel bad’, I mean want to cut, think about dying, wondering if I’m ever gonna do it.”
When asked what she did during those years, she answered: “I won an Oscar,” referring to when she won best original song in 2019 for Shallow, a track from A Star Is Born.
Help can be found by calling the Samaritans, free at any time, on 116 123 or by emailing [email protected] or visiting Samaritans.org.