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Trigger warning: This article mentions rape and self-harming.

In the premiere episode of the new Apple TV+ docuseries, The Me You Can’t See, Lady Gaga opened up about struggles with her mental health after she was raped by a music producer at 19 and subsequently diagnosed with PTSD.

The show, executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, explores mental health around the globe and seeks to destigmatize mental health struggles and encourage others to seek help. The Academy Award winning musician was one of several people who discussed their own experiences, explaining her desire to “give back with that experience, instead of locking it away and faking it.”

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Going by her real name, Stefani Germanotta, she described how her mental anguish manifested physically, saying that she realized the chronic pain she was experiencing “was the same pain I felt when the person that raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner.” Adding that “the way that I feel when I feel pain, is how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans, they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers.” 

She describes her often shaky path to recovery, which included a psychotic break, and the way triggers can reduce months of well-being. Warning that the path to recovery is not always smooth and there is no simple cure, she says that “feeling like I wanna cut myself and feeling like I don’t are actually real close together. Everyone thinks it’s gotta be a straight line, that it’s just like getting over a virus where you get sick and then you get cured. It’s not like that, it’s just not like that.”

Ultimately, she encourages others to reach out and get help, to tell someone if you are in pain, rather than self-harming, and to make sure they engage in a routine or activities that support their mental health.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault or struggling with mental illness, these numbers provide free, confidential, 24/7 support:

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National Suicide Provention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673


Top photo credit: screenshot via YouTube

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Natalie Frate is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Sociology and Anthropology and SOAS, University of London with an MA in Comparative Literature. She is currently pursuing a degree in Experimental Humanities at NYU and waiting out the pandemic in her hometown, Cleveland, OH. She enjoys reading books, wearing clothes, and eating food with her friends. Follow her on Instagram @natalieroseindigo

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