Lady Gaga Said She Had A Psychotic Break From Untreated PTSD After Her Rape At 19

Oprah and Prince Harry very recently announced their Apple TV+ series focused on candid discussions around mental health, The Me You See, after teasing the project during Harry and Meghan’s candid interview with Oprah about their decision to change their relationship to the royal family.

In an episode that will premiere tomorrow, Lady Gaga opens up about her own struggles with PTSD as a result of the rape she suffered at 19. Stefani, as she’s credited in the series, is brutally honest about her depression and experience with cutting herself, explaining: “It’s really hard for me to articulate in a way that I feel like it’s safe for young people to listen, or even older people to listen about why anyone would cut,” and continuing: “I do believe that those urges for me came from a place [where] I need to show the hurt inside.”

Gaga has previously spoken out about her rape, discussing it with Oprah in 2020, telling her she “developed PTSD as a result of being raped and also not processing that trauma,” and clarifying in this interview that her canceled Joanne tour dates back in 2018 were due to a psychotic break from not processing the pain. “For a couple years, I was not the same girl,” she said. Adding: “The way I feel when I feel pain is how I felt after I was raped. But your body remembers.”

Her rape happened at the age of 19, when she was beginning to get her foot in the door in the music industry. A producer, who she refuses to name, threatened to burn all her demos if she wouldn’t take her clothes off for him. At first she wouldn’t do it, but the producer continued prodding her. “Then I just froze and I just… I don’t—don’t even remember,” she said, through tears. “And I will not say his name. I understand this #MeToo movement and I understand people feel real comfortable with this, and I do not. I do not ever want to face that person again.”

Gaga initially shared her PTSD diagnosis in 2016 by sharing it in a letter with her Born This Way Foundation, and she’s done a lot of work already to publicize just how impactful the condition can be — especially if it goes untreated. “I realized it was the same pain I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on the corner, at my parents’ house, because I was vomiting and sick. Because I was being abused. Even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad. And when I say I feel bad, I mean I want to cut. Think about dying. Wondering if I’m ever going to do it. I learned all the ways to pull myself out of it.”

She also wants young fans to know that she’s not stuck in it anymore: “I want to be able to tell everyone who’s watching that I dry my tears now and move on.” And that her recovery is a daily process that isn’t a straight line or a one and done fix. “What’s so interesting is the line I walk feeling like I wanna cut myself and feeling like I don’t are actually real close together,” she said. “Everybody thinks it’s gotta be a straight line, that it’s like every other virus, that you get sick and then you get cured. It’s not like that. It’s just not like that. And actually I think that traps people.”

Finally, Gaga asserts that the process of sharing her reality with others is just as much a part of healing as anything else.

“I don’t tell this story for my own self-service, because, to be honest, it’s hard to tell,” she said. “I feel a lot of shame about it. How do I explain to people that I have privilege, I’ve got money, I’ve got power, and I’m miserable? How do you do that? I’m not here to tell my story to you because I want anybody to cry for me. I’m good. But open your heart up for somebody else. Because I’m telling you I’ve been through it and people need help. So that’s part of my healing, being able to talk to you.”

Watch for the Lady Gaga episode dropping tomorrow on Apple TV+.