Lady Gaga shares what it’s like to live with trauma, mental illness and fibromyalgia
Prior to releasing the film “A Star Is Born,” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, the singer opened a new interview with Vogue about life with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fibromyalgia. In the interview, which was released on Monday, she described how she experiences a trauma.
“I always say that a trauma has a brain,” she said. “And it affects everything you do.”
Lady Gaga points to an aspect of life with trauma that can be relative – trauma can appear anywhere in a survivor’s everyday life. The body’s natural response to trauma is a reaction to combat or flight stress. After the danger is over, the body may become stuck in this elevated state of stress, sometimes resulting in mental states such as PTSD. Symptoms of a PTSD may include flashbacks that are always on alert and “turned on”. Lady Gaga also described some of the physical symptoms of the disease. She told Vogue:
I feel stunned. Or stunted. You know this feeling when you are on a roller coaster and are about to go down the really steep slope? That fear and the drop in your stomach? My diaphragm becomes firm. Then I find it difficult to breathe, and my whole body gets into a spasm. And I start crying. This is how it feels every day for trauma victims and it is miserable.
Lady Gaga revealed for the first time that she was raped in 2014 by a music producer when she was 19 years old. In an interview with Today, Lady Gaga said she had PTSD experience because of her appearance. Following the release of her 2017 Netflix documentary “Five Foot Two,” following her battle with chronic pain, she went to Twitter to draw attention to fibromyalgia.
Since then, she has been involved with others suffering from mental illness, chronic illness or sexual assault. At the 2016 Oscars of “Til It Happens To You” a moving performance was released in 2016. The song that Gaga wrote in 2015 for the documentary on sexual assault on university campus: “The Hunting Ground.”
Gaga has lived not only with the after-effects of a trauma, but also with her diagnosis of fibromyalgia, chronic pain and the frustration of living with an invisible disease. She told Vogue:
I am so irritated by people who do not believe that fibromyalgia is real. For me, and I think for many others, it really is a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma and panic disorder that overdrive the nervous system, and then you have nerve pain. People have to be more compassionate. Chronic pain is no joke. And waking up each day is not knowing how you will feel.
Lady Gaga stresses that for many people, especially women trauma and fibromyalgia can be related. Fibromyalgia is a pain-processing disorder in the central nervous system. The chronic state of pain works in the body similar to the hypervigilante combat reaction, which can also occur in a trauma. Despite the possible association with the mental illness Gaga emphasizes in the interview, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of pain rather than a psychiatric condition.
“Women who end up with fibromyalgia … have a much higher correlation if they have a history that involves some degree of trauma.” David Brady, Vice President of Health Sciences at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut and author of “The Fibro Fix Said the Mighty. “I do not want that to be misinterpreted when I say that this is a disruption to women. Everyone is the problem because they had a trauma. It is a physiological answer to a scenario and it is absolutely real. It is a very special thing. It is really painful. They do not do that. “
Lady Gaga vociferously commented on the challenges of living with a mental illness and a chronic condition, although the decision to share was not easy. “For me, with my mental health problems, half of the battle initially felt like I was lying to the world because of so much pain, but nobody knew it,” Gaga said. “That’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD because I do not want to hide anymore than I already have to.”
Lady Gaga wants to use her platform through her advocacy efforts and her own story to promote more friendliness in the world. “I have my unique existence, like everyone else, and at the end of the day our humanity – our body and our biology – connects us,” said Gaga. “That’s what gives compassion and empathy, and those are the things that interest me most