Lady Gaga Wants To 'Erase The Stigma' Around Taking Meds For Mental Illness

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 

Lady Gaga is using her platform to decrease the stigma around taking meds for mental illness

Lady Gaga continues to open up about her mental health struggles, doing the work to dispel preconceived notions and shatter the stigma around mental illness. She recently joined Oprah Winfrey on her new tour, opening up about therapy, medication, and how she copes with all of it in the spotlight.

Gaga was the first special guest on Winfrey’s WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) & Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour in Sunrise, Florida last week. She shared her thoughts on the stigma that’s often placed on those of us who take medication to help mental health conditions, as well as the effects of her post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being raped at just 19 years old.

“Faith, inspiration, hope, and, I also have to say, and I know that this is controversial in a lot of ways: medicine really helped me,” Gaga told Winfrey in a clip from the talk shared by Entertainment Tonight. “I think a lot of people are afraid of medicine for their brains to help them, and I really want to erase the stigma around this. I am sick of saying it over and over and over again.”

In addition to her medication, Gaga shared that she’s also helped overcome her illness with cognitive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and the practice of radical acceptance. She explained, “I am sitting here with arguably the most powerful woman on the planet, and I have radically accepted that I will put my shame in a box all the way over there and make it very small, and say to myself, ‘I have mental health issues, I take a lot of medication to stay onboard, and I’m a survivor.'”

In the U.S. alone, more than one in five adults — and more than one in 20 children — take a psychiatric drug on a daily basis to help relieve mental health symptoms. It is a critical piece of the puzzle, along with those who can afford or have the ability to attend therapy, to maintaining a healthy life and finding balance. Medication can be a literal life-saver.

Winfrey shared a picture of the two backstage, captioning in part to Lady Gaga, “Your willingness to ‘go there’ with your vulnerability opened all our hearts today.”

Lady Gaga has been a light shining on the subject of mental health, using her platform to educate others and share her struggles in hopes of reaching others and letting them know they aren’t alone. “Not everybody has access to these things. Not everybody has the money for these things,” she said. “I want the money for it, I want the best doctors in the world, and I want us to understand the brain and all get on the same page about it so that Gen Z does not have to deal with this the way we are right now. Mental health is a crisis.”

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