Lady Gaga Says That Past Sexual Assault Ordeal Still Affects Her: ‘I Have PTSD, Because I Don’t Want To Hide’

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Lady Gaga has never been afraid to talk about vulnerable topics, even when they’re hard for her.

The Star is Born actress recently opened up about a number of things in the latest issue of Vogue, where she graces the cover. And among many talking points, Gaga opened up about the lasting effects of rape trauma, something that she first shared with Howard Stern in 2014.

The singer says that she was just 19 years old when she was raped by a music producer. At first, she did not tell anyone what happened and she says that it took years for her to open up about the ordeal.

“No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain. And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal.”

In 2016, she opened up on the Today Show about how she still has trouble coping with things, saying that the rape caused her to have PTSD.

“For me, with my mental-health issues, half of the battle in the beginning was, I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew,” the 32-year-old said. “So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD, because I don’t want to hide—any more than I already have to.”

And Gaga says that when the memories of that terrible day come flooding back to her, she feels a wave of emotions like feeling stunned or as though she’s on a roller coaster. She also says that her diaphragm seizes up and she has trouble breathing during it all.

“And I begin to cry. That’s what it feels like for trauma victims every day, and it’s… miserable. I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”

And to make matters even worse, Gaga says that she suffers from fibromyalgia, which she believes is yet another side effect from the sexual assault. In the tell-all interview, the “Bad Romance” singer says that she gets irritated when people do not believe her that her fibromyalgia is real.

“For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result,” she said. “People need to be more compassionate. Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.”

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Thank you @VogueMagazine. ????: @inezandvinoodh

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Earlier today, the 32-year-old also shared a photo of her Vogue cover with her Instagram fans. In the image, she is posing in a black dress as the strap falls off and she pushes it back up with her finger. She appears to be nearly makeup free as she has her long, blonde locks slicked back. To add a little bit of spice, she also dons a pair of earrings.

Thus far, the photo has earned the pop star a lot of attention with over 635,000 likes in addition to 4,800 comments.