Lady Gaga's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manifested itself as "intense pain" all over her body after she failed to process the horror of a teenage rape ordeal.
The Born This Way hitmaker has been open about the mental health struggles she has faced over the years as a rape survivor, but she shared her experience in more detail on Saturday (04Jan20) as she joined Oprah Winfrey for an in-depth interview in Ford Lauderdale, Florida, as part of the media mogul's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour.
During the hour-long chat, Gaga admitted her sex attacker was someone she had known throughout her youth, although she stopped short of naming the predator.
"I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old, and I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and also not processing that trauma," the Oscar winner said.
Gaga, now 33, had been desperately trying to pursue her music career at the time of the incident, and it wasn't until she shot to pop stardom in 2008 that she started experiencing the symptoms of PTSD.
"I, all of a sudden, became a star and was travelling the world going from hotel room to garage to limo to stage, and I never dealt with it (rape), and then all of a sudden I started to experience this incredible, intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped," she explained.
The singer/actress has since been diagnosed with chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, and she credits therapy linked to neuropsychology - the study of how the brain and nervous system affect a person's cognitive functions and behaviours - with helping her to keep the illness in check.
"What's interesting about it is that I've found, through neuropsych research and my relationship with my doctors, that fibromyalgia can be treated through mental health therapy," Gaga shared. "And mental health is a medical condition; it should be treated as a medical condition. It should not be ignored."
Gaga was the first guest on Oprah's 2020 Vision tour - Winfrey is also scheduled to sit down with comedienne Tina Fey, superstar Jennifer Lopez, and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama in the coming weeks.
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