Lady Gaga told Oprah she takes an antipsychotic, and without it she would 'spiral very frequently'
- Lady Gaga appeared on Oprah's "2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus" tour Saturday, when she discussed her battle with fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder after multiple sexual assaults.
- The award-winning singer and actress said taking an antipsychotic medication "helped me tremendously" and that she would "spiral very frequently" without it.
- Antipsychotic medications are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but can also be used to treat fibromyalgia, which is characterised by widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that can be caused by trauma and stress.
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Lady Gaga appeared on Oprah Winfrey's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she discussed her battle with fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder after multiple sexual assaults when she was 19.
She also talked about how taking medication has served a huge role in helping her cope in her day-to-day life, according to Teen Vogue.
The "Born This Way" singer reportedly told Winfrey that her rapid rise to fame didn't give her time to learn how to cope with the trauma and symptoms of PTSD she faced immediately before becoming a pop culture icon.
"I all of a sudden became a star and was traveling the world going from hotel room to garage to limo to stage, and I never dealt with it, and then all of a sudden I started to experience this incredible intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped," Gaga said.
Gaga didn't realise she was dealing with fibromyalgia, a condition described as widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties, according to the Mayo Clinic. While it's connected to genetics, infections, stress, anxiety, and PTSD, there's no one known cause for the condition.
Often, symptoms of fibromyalgia intensify over time if the initial cause - trauma, in Gaga's case - isn't treated.
Gaga has spoken openly about her PTSD in the past, sharing one of her "deepest secrets" with a group of young LGBTQ people at Harlem's Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth in 2016, according to CNN. But the star made a deeper connection between her trauma and fibromyalgia diagnosis than in prior interviews during her conversation with Winfrey.
Gaga said that in addition to therapy, antipsychotic medication helps a great deal to manage her symptoms and without it, she would "spiral very frequently."
"Medicine really helped me. A lot of people are afraid of medicine for their brains to help them. I really want to erase the stigma around this," Gaga reportedly said.
Antipsychotics are commonly used to treat bipolar but can also be used for fibromyalgia
Antipsychotic medications affect the brain's circuits that control mood, thinking, and perception. They work by helping avoid impulsive decisions and spiraling thought patterns associated with mania, or bouts of racing thoughts, energy, and wired feelings associated with bipolar disorder.
While antipsychotics are commonly used to treat conditions like bipolar and schizophrenia, they can also be used to treat anxiety and PTSD, causes of fibromyalgia. While the use of antipsychotics to treat symptoms of anxiety is contested among experts, in recent years, more doctors have been doing so with promising results according to Psychiatric News.
While Gaga uses antipsychotics to manage the symptoms, other forms of treatment for fibromyalgia include pain relievers like Advil and Motrin, antidepressants, physical therapy, and counseling.
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