WATCH: Lady Gaga FaceTimes with Prince William to Discuss Mental Health
Prince William and the singer connected over FaceTime to spread awareness about mental health in association with Prince William’s Heads Together campaign that he co-chairs with Kate Middleton and Prince Harry. During their conversation, William asked Gaga about what it was like when she spoke out publicly about her own struggles with mental health in a letter that she shared online in late December.
“It made me very nervous at first,” says Gaga. “For me, waking up every day and feeling sad and going on stage is something that is very hard to describe. There’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something’s wrong with you.”
Gaga adds that her depression and anxiety made it difficult for her to appreciate the beautiful things in her life.
“You can’t help it if, in the morning when you wake up, you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.”
Despite these challenges, Gaga says that opening up about her mental health was exceptionally rewarding. “We have to make the strongest most relentless attempt we can to normalize mental health issues, so people feel they can come forward,” she tells Prince William.
Gaga’s open letter discussed the many years she spent battling post-traumatic stress disorder. She explained a few of her conditions, including dissociation and her inability to express her feelings when a fight or flight response takes over her body.
“When this happens I can’t talk. When this happens repeatedly, it makes me have a common PTSD reaction which is that I feel depressed and unable to function like I used to. It’s harder to do my job. It’s harder to do simple things like take a shower. Everything has become harder,” she wrote. “But I am a strong and powerful woman who is aware of the love I have around me from my team, my family and friends, my doctors and from my incredible fans who I know will never give up on me. I will never give up on my dreams of art and music. 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.”
Watch Lady Gaga’s talk with Prince William in the video at the top of the page.