Lady Gaga visited The Today Show on Monday to promote the Share Kindness Campaign, and candidly opened up about her struggle with mental illness. "I suffer from a mental illness -- I suffer from PTSD. I've never told anyone that before, so here we are," Lady Gaga said. "But the kindness that's been shown to me by doctors, as well as my family and my friends, it's really saved my life." she continued. "I've been searching for ways to heal myself, and I've found that kindness is the best way."
@ladygaga via Instagram
The Share Kindness campaign is partnered with NBCUniversal, Today, and the Born This Way Foundation, which was founded by Gaga. NBC shared that after a tough election year, we need kindness more than ever. “We're here to shine a light on stories of goodwill and inspire acts of kindness — large and small — after a year of politics and tragedy that has left the country more divided than ever,” they wrote on their Share Kindness page. “Join us in elevating 1 million acts of kindness by sharing your stories on Twitter with the hashtag #ShareKindness!”
This was the first time Gaga has talked publicly about her struggle with PTSD. 2 years ago, Gaga opened up about being raped at the age of 19, and opened up about the struggle sexual assault survivors face in the 2015 Oscar-nominated song Til It Happens To You. Gaga's is speaking out to reach a large group of survivors--an american is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes, and 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, while women are twice as likely as men to develop it.
Lady Gaga's latest album, Joanne, has sparked dialogue about her traumatic sexual assault experience. Gaga's aunt, whom the album was named after, was also a sexual assault survivor, and the pop star has always felt deeply connected to her, though they never met. “The best way to describe my relationship with her is that it's like the relationship someone might have with an angel or a spirit guide or whatever you think of as a higher power,” Gaga wrote in Harper's Bazaar.
Just as Joanne has been a positive force in Gaga's life, we're positive she's served as inspiration and guidance for others as well.