, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, is a well-known singer and actress – and is one of the most instantly-recognisable individuals in the entertainment industry.

She has enjoyed a highly-successful music career, and has won a plethora of awards. But behind her fame, she has been battling Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – owing to a traumatic time in her life.

Early life

Germanotta was born in Manhattan, New York, US in 1986. Having grown up in a working class family, Germanotta got used to the need for hard work – with this the only way of defying a tough background.

Germanotta struggled at her high school, but praised the Roman Catholic School for its disciplined and dedicated nature.

She had a natural affinity for music. Throughout her childhood, Germanotta played the piano. She would go on to attend various camps for creative arts, and played at open mic nights.

Germanotta would go on to attend a specialised music school. It was at the music school that she honed her song writing skills. She would eventually drop out to focus on her music career.

Around this time, she also appeared in a few television roles – including in The Sopranos.

Traumatic experience

While things appeared to be going well for Germanotta, she had a traumatic phase in her life at the age of 19, with Germanotta later revealing that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Germanotta was diagnosed with PTSD, and attributed this to the sexual assaults. She underwent therapy for this.

She remarked the importance of her family and friends during her recovery, saying they provided support throughout.

Music career

A few years later, Germanotta became known as Lady Gaga, and achieved her breakthrough and subsequent success.

Having been signed to a record label with Sony, she was able to release a debut album – which led to huge success for her. One such song – “Poker Face” – was the best-selling single of 2009.

A worldwide tour quickly followed. Despite being beset by mental health problems, Lady Gaga stormed to fame – and became a star. 

Many awards would follow, with many records being shattered. Other albums have followed, and Lady Gaga remains one of the most successful artists in recent years.

Another great moment came in 2016, when she sang the national anthem of the United States at Superbowl 50.

Her career as an actress also took off, having appeared in the popular anthology series American Horror Story. She also had a cameo in the iconic cartoon The Simpsons.

Lady Gaga is also known for her extensive charity-giving. She has given generously to aid efforts following natural disasters – such as various Hurricanes and wildfires.

Finally, she also founded the “Born This Way Foundation” – a charity that attempts to prevent bullying and improve mental health.

Mental health problems

But as mentioned, Lady Gaga has also struggled with mental health problems. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga discussed a range of topics – albeit with mental health being the main focus.

Gaga spoke about being repeatedly sexually assaulted by someone when she was just 19 years of age. She said that she didn’t process the trauma. She attributed this to how her overnight fame led to her life changing immeasurably.

She discussed how her constant work schedule meant that she didn’t ever process the trauma. But, as many people with mental health conditions know – sweeping trauma under the carpet only works for so long.

Eventually, Lady Gaga started to experience an ‘incredible intense pain’ throughout her body, which mimicked how she felt after she was sexually assaulted – she revealed to Oprah. She revealed that she attended regular therapy sessions in order to recover.

She used her platform to dispel the myth that PTSD only affects soldiers and other workers that are left traumatised by war. While these individuals are certainly vulnerable to developing PTSD, others are also affected by the debilitating condition.

Lady Gaga also suggested that mental health is something that should be taught in schools, which would help to educate children on the wider subject of mental health.


Through her insightful discussions on mental health, she has also raised awareness of the importance of mental health. While her personal battle is ongoing, she has undoubtedly helped many others with their difficulties.

Moreover, she continues to be a source of inspiration for many. Lady Gaga will hope for further success, and wellbeing.


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Picture credit for title image:, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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