Lady Gaga has said she has suffered with depression and anxiety for her whole life, in a new interview about the Born This Way foundation.
The pop star spoke about her work with the organisation, which was set-up in order to help support the wellness of young people, in an interview with Billboard in which she says “the internet is a toilet” and suggests that there is correlation between depression and time spent online.
Asked by the publication why she felt the need to set up the foundation, Gaga said it was born “from the years I spent watching my fans grow up” and seeing the problems they faced in their lives.
“Many of them were really young: 11 to 17-year-olds in very tumultuous times,” she says. “They would tell me their stories – and many of them were very dark. As I began to care for them and to see myself in them, I felt I had to do something that would remind kids they’re not alone. When they feel isolated, that’s when it leads to suicide.”
In 2011, 14-year-old Gaga fan Jordey Rodemeyer killed himself after being bullied at school over his sexuality. In the Billboard feature the pop star says this was one of a number of incidents with her fans that convinced her young people needed her help.
“Depression and anxiety really link them,” Gaga said of the stories she hears from her young fans. “There is something in the way that we are now, with our cell phones and people are not looking at each other and not being in the moment with each other, that kids feel isolated. They read all of this extremely hateful language on the internet. The internet is a toilet. It is. It used to be a fantastic resource – but you have to sort through shit to find the good stuff.
“These kids just want to feel human, but they feel like robots. They don’t understand why they’re so sad. There are scientific reasons, which the foundation researches, why you feel sad when you look at your phone all day.”
She went on to speak of her own mental health: “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day. I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That’s not human.”