Singer Lady Gaga, who has been forthright about suffering from depression, now reveals that her previously disclosed rape at age 19 left her with lingering post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Today I shared one my deepest secrets w/ the world. Secrets keep you sick w/ shame,” tweeted Gaga on Monday, linking to a “Today” segment that morning chronicling her Nov. 25 visit with homeless LGBTQ youth. “I told the kids today that I suffer from a mental illness. … I suffer from PTSD,” she told the morning show. “I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are. 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.”
Distributing gifts, performing “Million Reasons” and leading a group meditation at an outpost of the Manhattan-based Ali Forney Center, the 30-year-old singer told the youths, “Meditation helps me to calm down. I don’t have the same kinds of issues that you have, but I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day, so I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed.”
The visit, done in conjunction with NBCUniversal’s #ShareKindness campaign, served “to remind kids that are suffering from a traumatic experience or from abandonment . . . that they are not alone and that they’re loved,” she told “Today,” later saying, “I am no better than any of those kids. And I’m no worse than any of them. We are equal. We both walk our two feet on the same earth. And we’re in this together.”
Speaking of the rape that she revealed on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio program in December 2014, Gaga, said, “My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.” She added, “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself. And I have found that kindness is the best way.”