This Is What's Helping Lady Gaga Cope with Mental Illness
"I'd been searching for ways to heal myself. I found that kindness is the best way."
As a part of Today and NBCUniversal's #ShareKindness campaign, Lady Gaga recently spent the day at a shelter for homeless LGBT youth in Harlem. The Grammy-award winning singer and founder of the Born This Way foundation opened up about how the act of kindness has helped her heal through several hardships in life.
"Kindness, to me, is an action of love or a showing of love to someone else," she said. "I also believe that kindness is the cure to violence and hatred around the world. I like to share kindness in a lot of different ways."
Gaga brought donated gifts of clothing and other items, and passed along several hugs and encouraging words. Not only that but the singer left an inspiring and heartfelt note with each any every one of the teens living at the center.
"These children are not just homeless or in need. Many of them are trauma survivors; they've been rejected in some kind of way. My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others."
In 2014, Gaga publicly shared that she was the survivor of sexual assault, and has since turned to meditation as a way of finding peace. During her visit, she conducted a short session with some teens, sharing an important message:
"I don't have the same kind of issues that you have," she said, "But I have a mental illness, and I struggle with that every day so I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed."
It wasn't until that moment that Gaga publically revealed that she is living with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I told the kids today that I suffer from a mental illness. I suffer from PTSD. I've never told anyone that before, so here we are," she 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."
"I'd been searching for ways to heal myself. I found that kindness is the best way. The one way to help people that have trauma is to inject them with as many positive thoughts as possible." "I am no better than any of those kids, and I'm no worse than any of them," she said. "We are equal. We both walk our two feet on the same earth, and we're in this together."
Watch the entire interview below.
On Wednesday, Gaga took the time to elaborate on her condition in an emotional and heart-felt open letter.
"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," the pop star wrote. "I am continuing to learn how to transcend this because I know I can. If you relate to what I am sharing, please know that you can too."
You can read the rest of the letter on her Born This Way Foundation website.