One of the few celebrities brave enough to speak openly about their battle with chronic pain is talking about it again – in a fashion magazine.
“Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel,” Lada Gaga told Vogue in a cover story.
Last year, Lady Gaga revealed that she suffers from fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by deep tissue pain, fatigue, depression and insomnia.
A pain flare up forced her to cancel several concert appearances, which led some skeptics to complain that it was a publicity stunt to promote “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” a Netflix documentary that shows the singer being treated for chronic pain.
Lady Gaga says her fibromyalgia is very real – along with the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) she has from being sexually assaulted as a teenager.
“I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real,” she told Vogue. “For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder - all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result.
“You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re just about to go down the really steep slope? That fear and the drop in your stomach? My diaphragm seizes up. Then I have a hard time breathing, and my whole body goes into a spasm. And I begin to cry. That’s what it feels like for trauma victims every day, and it’s… miserable. I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”
The 32-year old singer said it took years for her to open up about the sexual assault.
“No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain. And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal,” she said. “I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew. So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD, because I don’t want to hide — any more than I already have to.”
In addition to fibromyalgia and PTSD, Lady Gaga also lives with synovitis, a chronic inflammation in her hip caused by overuse and injury. Like many pain sufferers, the singer has tried a variety of different treatments to ease her discomfort – from massage to hot saunas to Epsom salt baths. In 2016, she posted on Instagram an image of herself sitting in a sauna wrapped in an emergency blanket.
Lady Gaga’s battle with chronic pain is only a small part of her interview with Vogue. She’s helping to promote A Star is Born – her new film with Brad Cooper that premiers next month.