Lady Gaga, 27, continues her frank and honest approach to life in the limelight. The Do What U Want singer has now admitted to struggles with depression and an eating disorder in a recent series of interviews.
The reigning pop queen says that towards the end of 2013, shortly after the debut of her wildly successful third album ARTPOP, cynicism and anger took over her life. ARTPOP received mixed reviews from critics and struggled with disappointing sales, and Gaga says that contributed to her depression. She admits that life became very painful for her as she fought to overcome critics and those who she feels lied to her. Depression, she says, became like an anchor that was weighing her down, unable to do anything.
She says she grew so tired of fighting her critics that, by the time 2014 hit, she forced herself to take stock. She admits to having a hard discussion with herself where she essentially forced herself to look for the light that she knew was within herself and hang on to it. Now, five weeks into the new year, Gaga says she aspires to follow in the footsteps of other philanthropists like Oprah and Melinda Gates, who are role models for those overcoming adversity.
Lady Gaga also admitted to kicking a past eating disorder that she says plagued her as well. In being open about her depression and eating disorder struggles, the pop star places herself among the 1 in approximately 10 Americans who also struggle with depression. She has admitted to past struggles with depression and says that she feels the critics don’t really understand her art, but says that who she portrays during her performances and in her music is not a façade.
She says that during her battle with depression, she felt as though her talents had been depleted. Lady Gaga admits now that she knows the talents hadn’t disappeared. She says that they simply became more challenging to find as a result of the depression. She cut her former manager Troy Carter in November 2013 and has distanced herself from a number of people associated with her. She says that some associates had betrayed her after a hip injury forced the abrupt cancellation of her North American tour.
Depression can hit at any age, though the sector of American society that struggles most with depression falls in the 45 to 64-year-old age range. The other sector that tends to struggle is the 18 to 24-age range, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. Depression can have a truly adverse affect on a wide range of other medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, asthma and obesity.
As for her own struggles with depression, Lady Gaga continues to be open about how she overcame the mental health issue. She says that she realized, in looking for her own light and happiness, that she is no one’s pawn and should be appreciated for her own artistry, rather than her talent for making money. As for the lukewarm reception ARTPOP received, Lady Gaga shouldn’t feel too badly; according to Billboard, the album still ranks #2 on the Dance/Electronic Album chart, and Do What U Want, her duet with R. Kelly, is still going strong on Billboard’s Pop Charts.
By Christina St-Jean