Lady Gaga and Prince William addressed the stigma attached to discussing mental health issues and the importance of broadening those conversations in a video for the Royal Family’s Heads Together campaign.
In the clip, William asked Gaga over video chat about the open letter she published last December in which she revealed that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being raped at age 19.
“It made me very nervous at first,” Gaga said of discussing her own struggles publicly. “For me, waking up every day and feeling sad and going onstage is something that is very hard to describe. There’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something is wrong with you, and in my life I go, ‘Oh my goodness, look at all these beautiful, wonderful things that I have, and I should be so happy.’ But you can’t help it if in the morning you wake up, you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think, but it was like saying: ‘This is a part of me and that’s ok.'”
Earlier this week, Prince Williams revealed that he had “shut down all his emotions” for two decades after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. The 32-year-old said he only began confronting his emotions head-on since he was 28.
Speaking about what he’s learned from his work with Heads Together, Prince William said, “It’s ok to have this conversation, it’s really important to have this conversation and that you won’t be judged. It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo, which is only going to lead to more problems down the line.”
Prince William launched Heads Together last May with his wife, Catherine, and brother, Prince Harry. As William explained in his conversation with Gaga, the idea to focus on mental health was borne out of the trio’s charity work for other causes. “Whether it was veterans, homelessness, addiction, most of it seemed to stem back to mental health issues,” he said.