The Trauma Behind Lady Gaga’s Marijuana Addiction

Lady Gaga

A few years ago, Lady Gaga opened up about her marijuana addiction. This month we learned why the pop diva had been misusing cannabis and other substances for years.

The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, revealed in a segment of the Today program how she first developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being raped at the age of 19.

Lady Gaga revealed that she had been raped in a 2014 interview but never linked it to PTSD until now. She now credits regular meditation with helping her to “calm down.”

“I suffer from a mental illness. I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” Lady Gaga said on Today. “But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors as well as my family and my friends, it has really saved my life. I have been searching for ways to heal myself and I have found that kindness is the best way.”

The day after the Today segment aired, she tweeted that it wasn't just sexual assault that led to her complex PTSD. “I have prolonged repetitive traumas over the course of my career,” she tweeted.

Lady Gaga’s mental and physical challenges led to substance misuse and addiction. According to People Magazine, the singer “experimented with various drugs to avoid difficult emotions – particularly challenges that arise from being in the public eye.”

In 2013, Lady Gaga told Elvis Duran on the Z100 Morning Show that she was addicted to cannabis and that it was “ultimately related to anxiety coping and it’s a form of self-medication.” At that point, she was smoking an incredible 15-20 marijuana cigarettes a day, partially to deal with a hip injury.

"I was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing myself completely, and looking back I do see now that some of it had to do with my hip pain. I didn't know where the pain was coming from so I was just in a lot of pain and very depressed all the time and not really sure why."

In a personal letter on the Born This Way Foundation website, Lady Gaga writes about her struggle to deal with PTSD. “It is a daily effort for me, even during this album cycle, to regulate my nervous system so that I don’t panic over circumstances that too many would seem like normal life situations. Examples are leaving the house or being touched by strangers who simply want to share their enthusiasm for my music.”

“It is very, very hard to go out into the world when you’re not feeling happy and act like you are,” she said on the Z100 Morning Show.

At Decision Point, addressing trauma is an integral part of the treatment process. Properly identifying and addressing trauma is essential to removing barriers to overcoming substance misuse and achieving truly fulfilled living.