OPRAH: Thanks for coming.
I was saying to reporters yesterday, I was
really nervous about asking you.
First of all, because I—it's one of those
things— I was.
So nervous about asking you.
LADY GAGA: And then you asked me and I was,
like, move my vacation.
I'd do anything for Oprah.
OPRAH: I want to know when you got clarity
for yourself about the vision of creating
LADY GAGA: Well, you know, at first when I
was younger, I went through a lot of struggles
in high school.
I was really bullied.
I didn't feel good about myself.
And I got made fun of.
Like why do you want to be a singer?
Why do you want to be a musician?
Why do you want to be an actress?
And I felt so secluded and isolated.
And it was time, once I dropped out of college,
I will admit—stay in school—but I dropped
out of college because I was, like, I have
to pursue my dreams as a musician.
This is what I want.
And it was in creating Gaga, that I was able
to create a superhero for myself.
It was a vision for the me that I wanted to
I wanted to be confident.
I wanted to be filled with self-compassion.
I wanted to be filled with compassion for
And I wanted to share my story and my vision
of the world with the world.
OPRAH: And so you created this sort of alter
LADY GAGA: Who now has become me also.
I don't know what happened but it sort of—but
that's what happens when you have a vision
for yourself, you can be here, right?
And then you have your vision.
And then all of a sudden.
OPRAH: The two merge.
LADY GAGA: They come together.
OPRAH: You become aligned.
And you say Lady Gaga, the creation of Gaga
actually gave Stefani the wings to fly.
LADY GAGA: Gaga, myself, has given me the
wings to fly.
And what I was going to, you know, add is
that now, after almost over a decade of being
in the industry, I recognize my position that
people are watching me.
Now, I could hyper-focus on being objectified
or being in tabloids or being gossiped about,
but you know what?
I'm thinking to myself, oh, the world is watching.
And I have something important to say.
And I want to change people's lives.
And now my mission is different.
And I have a responsibility to this whole
Because one of the things that we discussed
in Elle, one of the things that surprised
me when we talked about it in the recent Elle
magazine, you were saying—I was saying you
have spent a lot of time shocking the world.
That meat dress was the first time we all,
like, were kind of aghast.
And you said you have now reached a point
in your life where you don't feel the need
to create some identity of shocker—shocking
LADY GAGA: Yes.
I think it was something that I enjoyed to
bemuse people so they would listen to the
music and there was sort of a state of confusion
of who is this woman?
I don't really—I'm, like—it's kind of
like, you know, watching a train wreck.
But the truth is that that was part of my
art form was, how do I get people to see and
watch and listen and become engaged with me
on a personal level?
Even though it felt quite superficial I think
for a lot of people.
And it's changed since then because, number
one, it's no longer shocking to have pink
And number two, I think the most shocking
thing that I could possibly do is be completely
vulnerable and honest with you about my life,
how—what I've been through, the struggles
that I've seen that I have also been a part
of, and share that with the world so that
I can help other people who are suffering.
And one of those things that I deeply care
about is mental health.
OPRAH: So someone had asked you what do you
see when you look at that Oscar, and you say
you see a lot of pain.
And is that because of the hard work?
Or is that because of the actual physical
mental pain that you had to go through up
until that moment to get it?
LADY GAGA: Well, it's not a huge secret, but
some of you might not know in the audience
tonight or who's watching, but I struggle
with mental health issues.
And I struggle also with chronic pain.
Some call it fibromyalgia.
Or neuropathic pain.
OPRAH: What does that mean, fibromyalgia?
What does that mean?
LADY GAGA: That is a very big question, Oprah.
So fibromyalgia is essentially a chronic pain
condition that makes your body hurt through
Now, someone that might be watching this that
has it might be saying, don't tell me that
my fibromyalgia is in my head because my whole
And even sitting here with you today, I'm
in head-to-toe pain.
But what's interesting about it is that I've
found through neuropsych research and my relationship
with my doctors that fibromyalgia can be treated
through mental health therapy.
And mental health is a medical condition.
It should be treated as a medical condition.
It should not be ignored.
OPRAH: So twice you've said you have mental
What does that mean for you?
Because as I was sharing with you on the phone,
I have a girls' school with girls who have
come from traumatic backgrounds.
And I didn't know, until I started this school,
because I had this idea that I'm gonna create
this school and everybody's gonna come and
they're gonna get an education and they're
gonna go out in the world and everything's
gonna be fabulous.
I had no idea the impact that trauma has on
your mental health.
LADY GAGA: Well, I've shared this with you,
and I will share it again, very vulnerably
with all of you.
I could object my book and read it, but I'll
just tell you.
So I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years
And I also developed PTSD.
OPRAH: As a result of the rape?
LADY GAGA: As a result of being raped.
And also not processing that trauma.
I did not have anyone help me.
I did not have a therapist.
I did not have a psychiatrist.
I did not have a doctor help me through it.
I just 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, actually, the illness
that I felt after I was raped.
So what that is called…
OPRAH: Were you raped by someone you knew?
LADY GAGA: I was raped by someone that I knew.
And it was a trauma response.
So when you asked me about what fibromyalgia
is, what I would like for you to know, and
to shine a light on, is that many people don't
know what it is.
And we need to all get together and figure
And this is how we're gonna do it.
There's the neuropsych aspect.
There's also an immunity aspect that where
there is a possibility that the immune system
has something to do with fibromyalgia or trauma
response or neuropathic pain.
Whatever you want to call it.
And there's also some similarity in my condition
to autoimmune diseases.
But fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease.
So what I take an oath, as a commitment today,
with you, is it's 2020.
And for the next decade, and maybe longer,
I'm going to get the smartest scientists,
doctors, psychiatrists, mathematicians, researchers,
and professors in the same room together and
we are going to go through each problem, one
by one, and we are going to solve this mental
OPRAH: You know what I found interesting,
you became famous really quickly, even though
there had been so much work put into getting
to the point where we then knew you and you
And you made the decision, or have made the
decision that you're not interested in just
fame but you're also looking for impact.
LADY GAGA: I want impact.
I always did.
I thought it was just through music at one
I had some dreams of being an actress.
And then it really was a spiritual awakening
I mean, I consider myself a spiritual, religious
I don't go to church every Sunday.
But I do pray every day.
I prayed, like, eight times before I came
out here with you.
I was, like, God, just tell me what to say.
And the truth is that once I became famous,
I thought to myself, well, I can—I will,
and I want to continue making music, I will
and want to continue being in movies, but
I want to help people.
These people that come to my shows, I don't
want to just take your money and sing for
I want to help change your life.
And I have all this life experience.
And I can't—you know, when I talk to God,
And you know whatever you want to call it
If it's God or the other realm or your angels
OPRAH: By any name.
LADY GAGA: By any name.
OPRAH: It responds.
LADY GAGA: Any gender.
When I talk to God, I say, tell me what to
Because I'm being watched.
And I want to do the right thing here.
So tell me what to say.
Tell me how to say it.
And help me see the path.
And if you show me that path, I will walk
And do you know what, Oprah?
Look where that path has led me.
I am sitting right next to you.
Ask and you shall be given.
What has been your greatest spiritual awakening?
Greatest spiritual awakening.
LADY GAGA: I think my greatest spiritual awakening
actually has been quite recent.
I think it's that I realize that I have the
chronic pain that I have for a reason.
And I don't mean to be, like, God gave it
And I also don't believe in that, like, karma
thing where you're sick because you did something
But I do believe that this was—this happened
for a reason.
All the things I've been through, I think
they were supposed to happen.
I was supposed to go through this.
OPRAH: Even the rape.
LADY GAGA: Even the rape.
All of it.
I think I was supposed to go through all of
I radically accept that they happened.
And I think it happened because God was saying
to me, I'm going to show you pain.
And then you're gonna help other people who
are in pain, because you're gonna understand
Because you can't—you can't give what you
LADY GAGA: I can't look away.
Because now when I see someone in pain, I
can't look away because I go, no.
You're in pain.
I'm in pain, too.
And then now, I'm in problem-solving mode.
I've got my suit on and my heels and I'm ready
So this wisdom came from this pain.
What has been the lesson that's actually taken
you the longest to learn?
LADY GAGA: How to be wise.
See, there is the rational mind.
And there is the emotional mind.
And I think from day to day, we all experience
ourselves, if we're mindful, in some type
of way, which I think this is good to be mindful
about, is am I operating from an emotional
Or from a rational space today?
Meaning, when I say rational, I mean cerebral.
You know, just really pragmatic.
And emotional meaning, like, am I operating
from the heart?
Am I really upset because my boyfriend broke
up with me and I'm a mess, you know, and I'm
just being completely irrational.
Wise sits in the center.
Wise is when you are both rational and emotional
at the same time, and those two things meet
and you become wise.
And that was the lesson that I learned.
I had to learn how to pull myself back from
either place, and then sit in the center.
Because actually, a psychotic break, and if
you look in the brain, or its eye sort of
a metaphor about the brain, you're centered
OPRAH: Because you had a psychotic break.
LADY GAGA: I had a psychotic break.
I'll explain what happened.
Here's my brain.
Here's my center.
And then I was triggered, really badly, in
a court deposition, and I just, like, this
part of the brain where you stay centered
and you don't disassociate, right?
It went like this.
It slammed down.
And my whole body started tingling, and I
OPRAH: Where were you?
LADY GAGA: I was in a hospital.
And it's very—it's very difficult to describe
what it feels like other than that you first
are completely tingling from head to toe,
and then you go numb.
But what is essentially happening is the brain
goes, ‘That's enough.
I don't want to think about this anymore.
I don't want to feel this anymore.’
OPRAH: You literally break from reality as
we know it.
LADY GAGA: You break from reality as we know
You have no concept of what's going on around
There is nothing wrong.
But you are in a traumatic state that you
feel like I remember going into the hospital
and screaming, why is no one else panicking?
Why aren't you panicking?
And then they run a psychiatrist in and then—and
I'm in head-to-toe pain at the same time.
And they brought in a psychiatrist.
And I said, can you get me a real doctor?
And he was, like, hey, so nice to meet you.
And he sat down.
And I was, like, I need medicine.
I don't feel well.
I can't feel my legs, help me.
And then he just said, I need you to explain
to me what happened today.
And I was so annoyed.
But I'm telling you this story because even
I who run Born This Way Foundation with my
mother was irritated that they brought a psychiatrist
in to help me.
I mean, that's how, like, gone I was.
I was so separated from the world.
And once we started talking, he realized what
had happened to me, and then he ordered medication
for me that I took, reluctantly, at first,
and then he became my psychiatrist and assembled
a team for me, and I went away to a place
that I go to sometimes still for, like, a
And they took care of me and we got all of
the things lined up.
And I have a very unorthodox, actually, set
of pills that I take.
But they saved my life.
And I'm very grateful.
OPRAH: So you use medication, but you also
do many other things to keep yourself spiritually
sound and centered.
LADY GAGA: Yes.
So I meditate.
I do transcendental meditation.
Bob Roth taught me.
OPRAH: Bob Roth taught me.
LADY GAGA: Isn't he great?
OPRAH: He's great.
LADY GAGA: Sorry.
LADY GAGA: And so I do that.
And when I slip up on it, you know it's not
the best because it's like—it's better when
And sometimes I can be in a ton of pain and
meditate and it goes away.
I also work out every day.
But I also listen to my body.
So if I'm in a lot of pain and deep stress,
I might not do either as hard of a workout
or I might, you know, not work out at all.
I do listen to my body and I listen to what
it's telling me.
I do talk therapy.
Dialectical behavioral therapy.
And I also do lots of other things like opposite
action, for example.
So let's say you're feeling really depressed
and you're at home and you've been at home
for seven days straight and you just can’t
leave the house and you just—you practice
Someone invites you to go somewhere, or you
reach out to a friend and you say, hey, you
want to play a game of poker?
Get up, get in your car, and go.
That's something that I do all the time.
OPRAH: So you're actively working on yourself
all the time.
LADY GAGA: All the time I actively work on
I have to.
If I don't, I will sit and I will be in pain
1OPRAH: I would say gratitude is my religion.
It's the thing I practice with, you know,
deep consciousness and a sense of regularity
and discipline about it.
And for you, that is kindness.
LADY GAGA: It is kindness.
Kindness heals the world.
I said this with the Dalai Lama once.
I said, the earth is a slowly rotting apple
on the kitchen counter.
OPRAH: Oh, no.
LADY GAGA: It's the truth.
LADY GAGA: I'm sorry.
But it's just true.
I mean, it's like—
OPRAH: The earth is a slowly rotting apple?
LADY GAGA: But it's slow.
It's really slow.
But we have to be kind to that apple, to the
humanity of that apple, and we have to be
kind to the environment to keep that apple
alive as long as possible.
And that's through kindness.
And I have actually my commitment here.
OPRAH: I want to hear your commitment.
LADY GAGA: I commit to gratitude to bring
the greatest minds I can find in the world
together to one by one solve the mental health
crisis that is plaguing our world.
I want to create an epicenter of healing.
Because when I give to others, I give also
back to myself.
Gave up her vacation to come and sit and share
her truth with us.
LADY GAGA: Can I just say, Oprah, I love you.
OPRAH: I love you back, girl.
I love you back.