WATCH: Lady Gaga on her Struggles with Mental Health Issues & Chronic Pain

Earlier last month, Lady Gaga joined Oprah Winfrey on stage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for an honest conversation about mental health and self-care at Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour. It is really one of the most candid and vulnerable conversations Lady Gaga has had about her personal life.


“LADY GAGA: So I used to cut. Cutting for me, I believe, happens for a variety of reasons. I also used to throw myself against the wall. I mean, I used to can do some horrible things to myself when I was in pain. And the truth is, is there’s two reasons, I believe, that this happens. And this is my own personal expertise, just from my experience. Is that for half a second, right? If you cut, you get some relief from the other pain that you’re feeling. Because you have pain somewhere else. But then after, what happens is, is then you see the blood. And then you feel chaotic. And then you spiral more and more out of control. And it is actually not helpful in any way. And it is going to make your spiral worse. It will make the neurotic state that you’re in something that is going to be prolonged instead of shortening the amount of time that you’re in it. Another reason, though, that people cut also is to show. And my mom and I always say with Born This Way Foundation, tell me. Don’t show me. So sometimes I would cut because I didn’t want to feel pain. And other times I would cut because I wanted to show people that I was in so much pain.”

“LADY GAGA: See, there is the rational mind. And there is the emotional mind. And I think from day to day, we all experience ourselves, if we’re mindful, in some type of way, which I think this is good to be mindful about, is am I operating from an emotional space today? Or from a rational space today? Meaning, when I say rational, I mean cerebral. Like intelligence. Thoughts. Facts. You know, just really pragmatic. And emotional meaning, like, am I operating from the heart? Am I really upset because my boyfriend broke up with me and I’m a mess, you know, and I’m just being completely irrational. Wise sits in the center. Wise is when you are both rational and emotional at the same time, and those two things meet and you become wise. And that was the lesson that I learned. I had to learn how to pull myself back from either place, and then sit in the center. Because actually, a psychotic break, and if you look in the brain, or its eye sort of a metaphor about the brain, you’re centered in here. Right?

OPRAH: Because you had a psychotic break.

LADY GAGA: I had a psychotic break. I’ll explain what happened. Here’s my brain. Right? Here’s my center. Right? And then I was triggered, really badly, in a court deposition, and I just, like, this—this part of the brain where you stay centered and you don’t disassociate, right? It went like this. (Indicating.) It slammed down. And my whole body started tingling, and I started screaming…”

Photo credit: Weight Watchers

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