When WW Oprah 2020 Vision Tour came around, so many of us were feverish with excitement, that we couldn’t wait to have the tremendous impact we knew we would have by just connecting – either by being present or via our screens.
There were so many guest appearances, but the one face that had such a profound effect on my being was Lady Gaga, who is a living, breathing, famous – mental health patient.
Who would believe it? We never know what’s going on in the lives of these celebrities except what they show us.
Heard that Lady Gaga was raped on multiple occasions by someone in the entertainment industry, but I never understood the depth at which those experiences affected her psychological balance. Not until her appearance at Oprah’s wellness tour.
Just saw her as “the Lady Gaga” the eccentric singer – who is always creating new ideas to shock her audience.
Bet you saw her like that too, even though she is your idol.
Listening to her speak, with Oprah, touched me in deep places. I watched her become emotional when she opened up to Oprah about her struggle with mental health. It got to a point, she almost cried.
Mental health concerns are only recently beginning to take centre stage globally but still snubbed – heavily snubbed in Nigeria.
What immediately pops in our mind when we hear “I have mental health issues?” The receiver of that message first does a mental double-take and then there is a pulling away from the person who voiced out a mental health problem.
And then…“why are you suicidal? Young as you are, what are you thinking about? Oh, you want to kill yourself because of man( that’s if it is a girl who made this revelation)?
This disorder does not automatically translate to suicidal – check.
Failed relationships are not the ultimate cause of Mental health disorders – check.
Mental health disorder can stem from trauma – years and years of childhood trauma that has been left untreated – check.
Will Smith said something “you can’t succeed your way out of childhood trauma”, which is true; you see, people hide their pain behind success, fame, relationships, but it doesn’t make the pain go away.
Types of mental health disorders
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by an inability to remain focused on task, impulsive behavior, and excessive activity or an inability to sit still. Although this disorder is most commonly diagnosed in children, it can occur in adults as well.
Anxiety disorder is defined by intermittent and repeated attacks of intense fear of something bad happening or a sense of impending doom.
Bipolar disorder causes a periodic cycling of emotional states between manic and depressive phases. Manic phases contain periods of extreme activity and heightened emotions, whereas depressive phases are characterized by lethargy and sadness. The cycles do not tend to occur instantly.
Depression covers a wide range of conditions, typically defined by a persistent bad mood and lack of interest in pursuing daily life, as well as bouts of lethargy and fatigue. Dysthymia is a milder but longer-lasting form of depression.
Schizophrenia is not, as commonly thought, solely about hearing voices or having multiple personalities. Instead, it is defined by a lack of ability to distinguish reality. Schizophrenia can cause paranoia and belief in elaborate conspiracies.
It is not a huge secret, but some of you might not know and 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.Lady Gaga
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals – Mayo clinic
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body – Mayo Clinic
So many people struggle with mental health and don’t even know it because the awareness is not there.
What are the signs of mental health disorders?
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Major changes in eating habits
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Suicidal thinking
Mental health is managed – by a psychiatrist.
Did I forget to mention that you don’t have to be roaming the streets mad before you need to visit a psychiatrist? Oops. People don’t like to hear or say that they are seeing a psychiatrist. However, if you need help and what you seek is proper care, then you need to see a psychiatrist.
I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old and I also developed PTSD and as a result of the rape as a result of being raped and also not a processing that trauma I did not have anyone helped me I did not have a therapist I did not have a psychiatrist I did not have a doctor help me throughLady Gaga
When asked how she has been able to remain stable while continuing to create music, Lada Gaga made mention of four things:
The first thing is to accept that you have an issue. Don’t live in denial. The next step is to seek help!
I used to cut. Used to throw myself against the wall. I mean, I used to do some horrible things to myself when I was in pain, and the truth is there are two reasons I believe that this happens. I cut because I didn’t want to feel pain and other times I would cut because I wanted to show people that I was in so much pain.Lady Gaga
Medications really help. Take your medications, it will do you no good to shrug them off.
Acceptance was key. Also, being open to taking medicine and also being open to talking about my trauma – and it’s one of the hardest things that any human can face and it’s a lot easier to go home and have a bottle of wine or two or three and just numb it all away.Lady Gaga
Mental health is a disorder that should be taken seriously and attended to with such precise care. Let’s not take anything for granted. The lives of our loved ones could be at stake. If you know anyone or spot the signs of mental health disorder in a person, please encourage them to seek help.
Watch the full video below.
Featured Image: Getty Images
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