As the Oscars campaign for A Star Is Born continues, so does Lady Gaga’s crusade for an issue that is close to her heart and personal experience: to raise awareness and resources for mental health care.
In October, Gaga penned an op-ed in The Guardian for World Mental Health Day, wherein she and director-general of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for an end to the “stigma, fear, and lack of understanding” that plague one in four individuals who deal with a mental health condition in their lifetime.
A month later, during the performer’s appearance at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards on Thursday night, Gaga revealed more about her “mental health crisis” that reached its apex after being overworked, and requested that SAG-AFTRA partner with the Born This Way Foundation to offer mental health resources as part of the union members’ benefits package. She spoke of her struggles in a 25-minute speech, according to Variety. “I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes,” she said. “I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away in my brain with ‘I’ll deal with you later’ for many years because my brain was protecting me, as science teaches us. These were also symptoms of disassociation and PTSD, and I did not have a team that included mental health support,” Gaga went on.
“If someone is assaulted or experiences trauma, there is science and scientific proof, it’s biology, that people change. The brain changes. What it does is it takes the trauma, and it puts it in a box, and it files it away and shuts it so that we can survive the pain,” Gaga previously stated on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, while addressing the “heartbreaking” decision to appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony of sexual assault, and also detailing her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault.
While accepting the Artists Inspiration Award, Gaga further revealed that after experiencing “physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior” as a result from her struggles with PTSD, she sought treatment from mental health professionals, but it was far from easy to figure out to whom she should reach out for support. “I wish there had been a system in place to protect and guide me, a system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do, a system in place to empower me to stay away from toxic work environments or working with people who were of seriously questionable character,” Gaga admitted. “There were days that I struggled or couldn’t make it to work, and I don’t want that for other artists or anyone,” she declared, pledging to launch the SAG-AFTRA and Born This Way partnership with a donation.
Related: Lady Gaga’s Op-Ed Calls for More Awareness and Resources for Mental Health Issues
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