Lady Gaga is getting candid about her history with self harm. The 33-year-old "Shallow" singer covers the December issue of Elle where she is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey about her struggles with mental health, PTSD, chronic pain, and more.
Gaga also opens up about her experiences with cutting, admitting that she has not talked "very much" about this in the past.
"I was a cutter for a long time, and the only way that I was able to stop cutting and self-harming myself was to realize that what I was doing was trying to show people that I was in pain instead of telling them and asking for help," she explains to Winfrey. "When I realized that telling someone, 'Hey, I am having an urge to hurt myself,' that defused it. I then had someone next to me saying, 'You don’t have to show me. Just tell me: What are you feeling right now?' And then I could just tell my story."
Gaga says she's "grateful" she no longer self harms, adding, "I wish to not glamorize it."
As an alternative, Gaga notes that she recommends people struggling with "trauma response or self-harm issues or suicidal ideation" use ice. "If you put your hands in a bowl of ice-cold water, it shocks the nervous system, and it brings you back to reality," she suggests.
In the interview, Gaga also opens up about her chronic pain and experiencing a psychotic break.
"Although there are many different theories about fibromyalgia—for me, my fibromyalgia and my trauma response kind of go hand in hand. The fibro for me is a lighter pain; the trauma response is much heavier and actually feels the way I felt after I was dropped on a street corner after I’d been raped repeatedly for months," she explains. "It’s a recurring feeling. So I had a psychotic break at one point, and it was one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me."
As a sexual assault survivor, Gaga notes that she struggles with PTSD and chronic pain. The performer hopes that she can serve as an inspiration to others going through similar situations.
"I kept going, and that kid out there or even that adult out there who’s been through so much, I want them to know that they can keep going, and they can survive, and they can win their Oscar," she says. "I would also beckon to anyone to try, when they feel ready, to ask for help. And I would beckon to others that if they see someone suffering, to approach them and say, 'Hey, I see you. I see that you’re suffering, and I’m here. Tell me your story.'”