Singer, songwriter Lady Gaga has written an open letter on her struggle with Posttraumatic stress disorder where she details her daily struggle with the "chronic" ailment.
BBC Newsbeat, which first published the story, brought attention to the open letter published on the webpage of her non-profit organisation, Born This Way Foundation. In the letter, the "Joanne" singer draws attention to the contentious issue of shame associated with various illnesses, including PTSD.
"There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, but it's important that you know that there is hope and a chance for recovery," Gaga says, addressing her readers and those that suffer from the debilitating mental disorder. She had revealed earlier this month, to a group of homeless LGBT youths that she has been suffering from PTSD ever since she was raped at the age of 19.
"It is a daily effort for me, even during this album cycle, to regulate my nervous system so that I don't panic over circumstances that to many would seem like normal life situations. Examples are leaving the house or being touched by strangers who simply want to share their enthusiasm for my music," Lady Gaga added. She wrote about how certain memories about stress encountered during her tours, especially having to perform "night after night in mental and physical pain" triggered the illness in question.
Gaga then went in-depth about her diagnosis – "I also experience something called dissociation which means that my mind doesn't want to relive the pain so "I look off and I stare" in a glazed over state. As my doctors have taught me, I cannot express my feelings because my pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain that controls logical, orderly thought) is overridden by the amygdala (which stores emotional memory) and sends me into a fight or flight response. My body is in one place and my mind in another. It's like the panic accelerator in my mind gets stuck and I am paralyzed with fear."
Despite this paralyzing condition, she claims to be a "strong and powerful woman" who is blessed by love from those around her, including her family, her team members and friends. She says she's on medication and psychotherapy but adds that the best healing can occur through words filled with kindness and positivity.
She encourages others with PTSD to speak up about their condition and be secretive as "secrets keep you sick." She also shared a note from her doctor who says trauma occurs when one's feelings and emotional experiences aren't valued. And that finding support is the most important for such a patient's wellbeing and healing.