Lady Gaga Reveals She Has PTSD After Being Raped At 19

Lady Gaga, née Stephanie Germanotta, revealed on the Today show Monday that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped at age 19. In 2014, the singer told Howard Stern that she'd had a nonconsensual sexual encounter with a music producer. In the Today segment, Gaga visited the Ali Forney Center, a homeless youth shelter in Harlem. At one point, she sat down with the young residents for a candid conversation. "Meditation helps me. I don't have the same issues as you have, but I suffer from a mental illness," she told the kids. Later, speaking directly to the camera, she admitted, "I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are." Though the incident occurred when she was 19, it took the Joanne singer seven years to speak out about the trauma. At a TimesTalks panel in 2015 — about a year after the initial reveal — she went into detail about effects the rape has had on her life. "When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn't just have the immediate physical ramifications on you. For many people it has almost, like, trauma. When you re-experience it throughout the years after it, it can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress. So a lot of people suffer from not just emotional and mental pain, but physical pain as a result of being abused, raped, or traumatized in some type of way," she said at the time. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America classifies PTSD as a "serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events."

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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