Lady Gaga: ‘I Suffer from PTSD’

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Lady Gaga opens up about her personal struggles with mental illness.

During a recent visit to the Ali Forney Center, a shelter for homeless LGBT youth located in Harlem, the “Perfect Illusion” singer revealed she’s been quietly dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder after having been sexually assaulted as a teen.

“I told the kids today, ‘I suffer from PTSD.’ I’ve never told anyone that before. So here we are. But the kindness that’s shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it’s really saved my life,” she shared on the Today show. “My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.”

“Meditation helps me to calm down,” she told the teens at the shelter. “I don’t have the same kind of issues that you have, but I have a mental illness and I struggle with that every day so I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed.”

As a rape survivor, Gaga stressed the importance of finding a good support system. While it’s difficult, the 30-year-old, who admittedly kept quiet about her assault for seven years, Gaga admitted, “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 noted. “We are equal. We both walk our two feet on the same earth. And we’re in this together.”

And it seems Gaga is focusing on the better things these days. Over the weekend, the Mother Monster performed on U.K.’s The X Factor. Serenading the crowd with her latest single, “Million Reasons,” she became the last artist to grace the stage at Fountain Studios after judge Simon Cowell revealed that the building was being demolished.

Gaga also recently performed at the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Aside from being the musical accompaniment for Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid‘s strut down the catwalk, she also took the time to sing with models like Alessandra Ambrosio backstage. The full performance will air December 5 at 10 p.m. on CBS.