Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Lady Gaga calls for support for mental illness

Published:Saturday | November 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has called for more to be done in supporting artistes with mental-health conditions.

The 32-year-old singer, opened up about her own mental health crisis, as she accepted a Patron Award at the Screen Actors Guild -American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Foundation's Patron of the Artists Awards on Thursday. She says she wishes there was a better system in place that could help her and other artistes to feel "empowered".

"I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes. 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,' because my brain was protecting me, as science teaches us."

She said that these were symptoms of disassociation and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that she did not have a team that included mental health support. "My struggles later morphed into physical chronic pain fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal idea and masochistic behaviour."

The Million Reasons hitmaker suggested that SAG-AFTRA partner with her Born This Way foundation to implement mental-health programs for union members.

"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 described mental health issues as a "crisis of epic proportions," and urged anyone struggling in silence to share their stories in order to help end the stigma surrounding the conditions.