Lady Gaga revealed that she has been battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ever since she was raped as a 19-year-old. She decided to open up about the affliction as part of her foundation’s “Share Kindness” campaign in conjunction with NBC’s “Today” show.
“I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” the singer said.
Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, says she’s been looking for ways to cope with the affliction and has settled on one strategy in particular, which dovetails with her new campaign.
“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 explained. “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.”
Gaga was joined by “Today” show anchor Hoda Kotb at the Kindness Experience pop-up store set up at NBC headquarters in Manhattan. The effort “empowers young people to create a kinder world.
The pop singer was interviewed at the Ali Forney Center for LGBT homeless youth.
These children are not just homeless or in need. Many of them are trauma survivors. They’ve been rejected in some type of way,” she said.
“I am no better than any of those kids. And I’m no worse than any of them,” she explained. “We are equal. We both walk our two feet on the same earth. And we’re in this together.”
Gaga kept her rape a secret for almost 10 years because she says she did not want the incident to “define her.” But she finally opened up about it on Howard Stern’s radio show two years ago.
PTSD has become widely recognized as a medical disorder related to a traumatic event, whether it’s sexual assault, military conflict, car accidents or other life-threatening experiences, according to medical references.
The effects linger through disturbing thoughts, guilt feelings, or recurring dreams related to the events, leading to mental or physical distress. PTSD is now considered one of the leading causes of suicide.
During World War I the condition was first diagnosed and called “shell shock” or “combat neurosis.” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder gained recognition the 1970s after it was evidenced in US military veterans of the Vietnam War.
If you suffer from a traumatic event and find yourself having trouble dealing with normal daily activities for an extended period of time, you may be suffering from PSTD, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD.
Psychotherapy, or counseling, are the best ways to treat it, but in some case drugs may also be prescribed. Some, but not all drugs, that treat depression can be helpful as well.
The important thing is to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment if the condition leads to chronic depression or suicidal thoughts.
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