LADY GAGA TALKS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
In the light of recent #metoo movement, many celebrities have come forward to share their sexual assault and mental health problems related to it. Almost every one of us has heard about Lady Gaga one way or the other.
She has been talking about sexual assault and its everlasting effects on various forums. Her choice of dressing, her outspoken and honest way of talking about taboo topics has always put her in the limelight. She is very vocal about the rights of the LGBT community and her stance upon mental health issues is a firm one.
RECENT TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND SEXUAL ASSAULT AT ELLE’S WOMEN EVENT
Her recent talk about her sexual assault and mental health issues at ELLE women event has stirred quite frenzy in Hollywood media circle. Breaking all stereotypes she wears an oversized man’s pantsuit by Marc Jacobs. She burst into tears while talking about sexual assault and mental health issues that follow.
Talking about her choice of attire, she said all the fine clothes and silks made her “sick to her stomach”. So she wore an oversized man pantsuit much to everyone’s surprise. But it was the only thing that made her feel like herself.
Rejecting the notion of objectifying women through their dressing, she decided to use what is more important “my voice” she said.
“Today I decided to take the power back, today I wore the pants” she exclaimed. Talking at ELLE’s event, she vehemently stressed upon the need for better mental health care around the world. While talking about her traumatic past, she said
“When I was assaulted I changed forever. I didn’t tell anyone and avoided it myself”.
No one helped her, no one came forward to guide her in the direction of mental health care which she so desperately needed.
“I felt ashamed of what happened to me, I still have days where I feel like it was my fault”
how she coped with the mental health issues that followed?
She never told anyone, suffering in silence, blaming herself, her dressing style, her profession like many other rape victims. She did it till she realised that the stress and anxiety manifested in form of physical pain.
what is fibromyalgia and what it has to do it with her?
She suffered from fibromyalgia which is chronic pain disease induced because of stress, anxiety, depression and trauma. Only then did she seek medical help and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and PTSD. While speaking about her illness she retorted angrily ,“ many people don’t think fibromyalgia is real… Which I don’t know what the f**k to say about that”…
She goes on to describe her disease as “a syndrome that is essentially a cyclone of many different conditions depending on the person, inducing a stress-induced pain. Depression, anxiety, eating disorder these are few examples that can lead to this tornado of pain”.
As an advocate of mental health care, she urged her audience to come together “to beckon the world towards kindness” and to work together to “heal each other”. She further supported her cause by quoting some alarming statistics regarding sexual assault and mental health issues
“1 in 4 people in world suffer from mental illness, 300 million people suffer from depression, 800 hundred thousand people die every year because of suicide. In low and middle income countries between 76 to 85% people with mental disorder receive no treatment at all.”
Lastly she appealed to her audience to help empower youth and spread kindness by joining hands with “BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION” which is run by her mother Cynthia and herself.
when LADY GAGA’S FIRST OPENED UP ABOUT HER RAPE TRAGEDY?
This is not the first time singer turned actress has opened up about her traumatic past. Lady first came forward to talk about her traumatic rape tragedy in an interview given to Howard stern (December 2014).
She was raped at age 19 by a producer who was 20 years older than her and whose name she refused to reveal. The tragedy haunted her for so many years. she hid it from everyone and thought that she brought it upon herself.
After seeking lots of mental and physical therapy “I was finally able to laugh again” she told stern. Her song “swine” is manifestation of her rage and disgust at being assaulted at young age.
“Till it happens to you” is another powerful and emotional song by lady gaga which was featured in sexual assault documentary “the hunting ground.” She co-wrote the song with Warren who is also a sexual abuse survivor. Gaga’s delivery of the song is so emotional and heart touching because of her personal attachment to the cause. Lyrics go like
“You tell me hold your head up,
Hold your head up and be strong
Tell me, how the hell could you talk
How could you talk?
Cause until you walk where I walk,
It’s all just talk”
All this resonates so greatly with every sexual abuse survivor because no one can feel the pain until they endured it themselves.
In this era, where every other person is suffering from some kind of mental disorder Lady Gaga is actively raising her voice to spread awareness about sexual assault and mental health taboos that many people don’t like to talk about.
“Born this way foundation” is a step toward building a world where the voices of abusers are not suppressed.
What she intends to do about sexual assault and mental health?
Medical and mental therapy benefited her greatly in overcoming the pain that she faced every day all by herself. The singer is still going through mental therapy to better cope with her situation.
Her trauma turned her into a kind and passionate person who is fighting for the betterment of abuse survivors through her resources. She dreams of having a mental health counselor in every school in America or around the globe someday.
It gives us so much hope that the world would be a better place one day for our children to live in. And this would happen only if people like her continue struggling for it.
we Pakistanis can take inspiration from it too. The reason is that we are a third world country. Mental health is not taken serious here. People do not even know it exists. Recent suicide of a successful model Anam Tanoli is an eye opening incident.
Our government needs to take notice of this issue as well and mental health counsellers should be provided to not only schools but also offices and to women dealing with post partum depression. Couple therapies should be introduced for healthy relationships.