Lady Gaga posted an empowering personal letter to her Born This Way Foundation website about her experience living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), writing, “I don’t want to keep this secret anymore.”

“I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis,” she writes. “After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you.”

The singer notes that speaking out is very important to her.

“I believe that the most inexpensive and perhaps the best medicine in the world is words,” she writes. “Kind words…positive words…words that help people who feel ashamed of an invisible illness to overcome their shame and feel free. This is how I and we can begin to heal. I am starting today, because secrets keep you sick. And I don’t want to keep this secret anymore.”

She writes that while traditionally we think of PTSD as a condition “faced by brave men and women that serve countries all over the world,” PTSD affects many different kinds of people. She aims to address everyone impacted, “to help our youth not feel ashamed of their own conditions” and to “lend support to those servicemen and women” suffering from PTSD. “No one’s invisible pain should go unnoticed.”

Gaga describes her experience of PTSD as a “glazed over state” that the mind enters to avoid confronting or reliving painful memories. “It’s like the panic accelerator in my mind gets stuck and I am paralyzed with fear,” she writes, noting that this makes even seemingly innocuous and simple tasks, like leaving the house or showering, incredibly difficult and triggering.

Read the entirety of her powerful letter here, and for more information about mental health, the Born This Way Foundation offers the following:

Click here or visit the National Institute for Mental Health for more information on PTSD in all its forms and where to find help. If you are in crisis now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273-TALK (1–800–273–8225).

Originally published at