Lady Gaga candidly talked about her struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts as she accepted an honor from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation on Thursday night.
The Born This Way singer was honored by the foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance to members of the SAG-AFTRA union, alongside Harrison Ford, Spike Lee and film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg at the organization's Patron of the Artists Awards in Beverly Hills.
She delivered a 23-minute acceptance speech in which she talked about the mental health crisis and how more programs need to be set up to help sufferers, and she explained that she really needed support and assistance when she was struggling, before she was able to afford her own help.
The A Star Is Born actress recalled how she spent years being a "yes" person, agreeing to jobs, interviews and events automatically because her "inner voice shut down" and she didn't feel empowered to say no.
"I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black out for seconds or minutes," she continued. "I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away in my brain as 'I will deal with you later' for many years because my brain was protecting me as science teaches us. These were also symptoms of disassociation and PTSD and I did not have a team that included mental health support.
"This later morphed into physical chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior."
The 32-year-old concluded by saying she wished she had the foundation when she 19 years old so she could have used their resources.
"I wish there had been a system in place to protect and guide me. A system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do," she concluded. "A system in place to empower to stay away from toxic working environments or working with people that were of seriously questionable character."
During the speech she pledged to make a donation to the organization and partner with them via her Born This Way Foundation to build mental health initiatives. She added, "I want artists who can’t afford it in this community to have mental health resources."