Lady Gaga has long avoided openly discussing her previous struggle with self harming because she doesn't want to "glamourise" the behaviour.
The Poker Face hitmaker has been candid about her mental health battles in the past, but one issue she has shied away from in public is cutting, as she used to hurt herself frequently as a way to express her emotional trauma.
In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey for Elle magazine, Gaga explains, "I was a cutter for a long time, and the only way that I was able to stop cutting and self-harming myself was to realise that what I was doing was trying to show people that I was in pain instead of telling them and asking for help.
"When I realised that, telling someone, 'Hey, I am having an urge to hurt myself,' that defused it. I then had someone next to me saying, 'You don't have to show me. Just tell me: What are you feeling right now?' And then I could just tell my story."
The pop superstar is "grateful" to have overcome her penchant for self harm, but one reason why she hasn't spoken "very much"
about the topic to date is because she knows how much young fans look up to her and follow her every move.
"I wish to not glamourise it," the singer/actress says.
Instead, Gaga, who also battles chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a rape survivor, is offering up another way to put "trauma response or self-harm issues or suicidal ideation" on ice: "If you put your hands in a bowl of ice-cold water, it shocks the nervous system, and it brings you back to reality," she shares.
And she hopes to provide the inspiration needed to encourage others fighting similar struggles to push through: "I kept going, and that kid out there or even that adult out there who's been through so much, I want them to know that they can keep going, and they can survive, and they can win their Oscar," Gaga declares.
"I would also beckon to anyone to try, when they feel ready, to ask for help. And I would beckon to others that if they see someone suffering, to approach them and say, 'Hey, I see you. I see that you're suffering, and I'm here. Tell me your story.'"
Gaga won her first Oscar in February (19), when she took home the Best Original Song honour for Shallow, from her movie musical A Star Is Born.
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