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Lady Gaga Opens Up About Sexual Assault & Trauma

The musician and actor spoke about her struggles with mental health as part of Oprah’s “2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus” tour.

*Warning: This article contains distressing themes.*

Lady Gaga opened up in an interview with Oprah about battling trauma as a survivor of sexual assault. 

The musician and actor spoke about her struggles with mental health as part of “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus” tour. The 9-city tour will feature conversations with powerful women that aim to transform people’s “mind, body, and spirit.” 

Gaga was the first guest speaker and used the platform to discuss the importance of sharing her story. 

“I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old,” Gaga said. “And I also developed PTSD as a result of the rape.”

She went on to talk about her struggles with mental health and becoming an advocate for anyone who is struggling. 

“I want us to understand the brain and all get on the same page about it so that Gen Z does not have to deal with this the way that we are right now. Mental health is a crisis,” she said. “I did not have anyone help me. I did not have a therapist and did not have a psychiatrist. I did not have a doctor help me through it. I just all of a sudden became a star and was traveling the world, going from hotel room to garage to limo to to stage. And I never dealt with it.”

Gaga said she reacted physically to the trauma later on. 

“And then all of a sudden, I started to experience this incredible, intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked actually the illness that I felt after I was raped.”

Gaga said she resorted to cutting herself and ultimately experienced “a psychotic break.” But the performer says today that she’s focused on using her painful past to raise awareness and destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health. 

In 2011, Gaga partnered with her mother to launch the Born This Way Foundation —  an organization that “leverages evidence-based programming” to strengthen mental health resources.  

“And for the next decade and maybe longer, I'm going to get the smartest scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, mathematicians, researchers, and professors in the same room together. And we are going to go through each problem one by one, and we are going to solve this mental health crisis,” Gaga said.