Lady Gaga has had a successful year career-wise, but not everything is perfect behind-the-scenes, Variety is reporting. While the singer and actress has opened up about her mental health struggles before, she gave new insight into her situation while receiving an award on Thursday, November 8. Gaga was honored at the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Foundation’s “Patron of the Artists Awards,” celebrating leaders in the entertainment industry who do great work in both their professional and personal life. Gaga gave a speech that lasted almost 25 minutes after she went on-stage to accept her award.
“I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes,” Gaga revealed. “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.”
While not many specific details of the source of her PTSD is known, Gaga has revealed in the past that it is related to a sexual assault. Gaga went on to share that her PTSD ended up spiraling into a plethora of problems — such as panic attacks, fibromyalgia, and even suicidal ideation. Gaga has used her own experiences as inspiration to advocate for mental health treatment. She even created the Born This Way Foundation, which fights for mental wellness in youth. Gaga suggested in her speech that SAG-AFTRA partner with her foundation to implement mental health programs for union members. She went as far as to say she will donate her own money to launch the program.
Gaga wants those in the entertainment industry to have their mental health issues addressed, and urged people to “share our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in the darkness.” To help illustrate her point, Gaga referenced the most recent mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, and how the gunman allegedly had a mental health issue. According to Deadline, the flags outside of the award show’s venue — the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills — were at half-mast to honor the fallen victims of the shootings.
While Gaga particularly focused her speech on people in the entertainment industry — and the necessity of providing them with proper treatment and safer working environments — it’s clear that she wants her message to go global.
“Let’s change the f***ing world!” she said at the end of her speech.