- In a deeply personal new interview, Lady Gaga spoke about her mental health (opens in new tab) and the deleterious impacts of extreme fame.
- "My biggest enemy is 'Lady Gaga', that's what I was thinking," she said. "I hated being famous, I hated being a star, I felt exhausted and used up."
- "If I'm at the grocery store and somebody comes up very close to me and puts a cellphone right in my face and starts taking pictures, just total panic, full-body pain," she said. "It’s like I'm an object, I'm not a person."
Lady Gaga opened up about the major toll fame took on her mental health in a candid new interview with CBS Sunday Morning's Lee Cowan, as People reports (opens in new tab). Gaga, who's spoken in the past about her experiences of depression and PTSD, shared the inspiration behind her new album, Chromatica, and the deeply personal single "911."
"My biggest enemy is 'Lady Gaga', that's what I was thinking. My biggest enemy is her," Gaga said, echoing the lyrics of the "911" chorus. "You can't go to the grocery store now. If you go to dinner with your family somebody comes to the table, you can’t have dinner with your family without it being about you, it’s always about you. All the time it's about you." The lyric "pop a 911," she explained, is "a reference to the medication I had to take when I used to panic because I'm 'Lady Gaga.'"
"If I'm at the grocery store and somebody comes up very close to me and puts a cellphone right in my face and starts taking pictures, just total panic, full-body pain. I'm braced because I'm so afraid," she said. "It’s like I'm an object, I'm not a person."
"I hated being famous, I hated being a star, I felt exhausted and used up," Gaga continued. "It's not always easy if you have mental issues to let other people see," she said. "I used to show, I used to self-harm, I used to say, 'Look, I cut myself, see I’m hurting.’ Because I didn’t think anyone could see because mental health, it’s invisible."
"I didn't really understand why I should live other than to be there for my family," she shared. "That was an actual real thought and feeling, why should I stick around?" Gaga added, "I lived in this house while people watched me for a couple of years to make sure that I was safe."
Music, however, proved a refuge for Gaga, despite the impact her career took on her mental wellbeing. "I don't hate Lady Gaga anymore," she said. "Now I look at this piano and I go, 'Ugh, my god, my piano, my piano that I love so much. My piano, that lets me speak, my piano that lets me make poetry. My piano that’s mine.'" Since her lowest points, Gaga shared, she's "found a way to love [herself] again."
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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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