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Lady Gaga Irritated by People Who Don’t Believe Her Fibromyalgia Is Real

Can you imagine a life of constant, dull pain? If you have fibromyalgia, you don’t have to–you live with it every day. If you don’t know what fibromyalgia is, the Mayo Clinic describes it as a condition which “amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.” There’s not only pain, but associated issues with sleep, mood, memory, joints, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and mental health issues like mood and anxiety.

Lady Gaga

Fibromyalgia is a global health problem that affects approximately 2-8% of the population worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimated 10 million people suffer from fibromyalgia. It primarily occurs in women, who account for about 75-90% of the cases. However, it can also affect men and children of all ethnic groups. The prevalence increases with age, peaking at 7.4% among women aged 70-79.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s believed to involve a variety of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. The condition is often associated with abnormal pain processing in the brain, where pain signals are amplified, causing a sensation of pain where others might not experience any.

Is that not bad enough? Imagine suffering with all of this, and not being believed. It’s hard to imagine how frustrating that would be. But for Lady Gaga, and others like her, it’s a reality. (1)

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome with a variety of symptoms that can vary in intensity. Here are the key symptoms listed in numerical order:

  1. Widespread Pain: The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that lasts for at least three months. It’s a global pain occurring on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
  2. Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even after they’ve slept for long periods of time. Sleep may be disrupted by pain, or other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
  3. Cognitive Difficulties: This symptom, referred to as “fibro fog,” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention, and concentrate on mental tasks.
  4. Joint Stiffness: Many people with fibromyalgia experience a distinct stiffness in their joints when they wake up or have been in one position for a long time.
  5. Headaches or Migraines: This is a common symptom, often related to the neck and shoulder stiffness and pain.
  6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Most people with fibromyalgia also have IBS, characterized by bouts of constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.
  7. Depression and Anxiety: Chronic pain and the lack of understanding or validation of the condition often lead to depression and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients.

The Root of Lady Gaga’s Fibromyalgia

TRIGGER WARNING: This paragraph contains mentions of sexual assault. If this is a subject that will be triggering to you, please skip this paragraph.

Doctors have nothing that they can point to say, “yes, this is the thing that causes fibromyalgia.” However, they believe there are three factors: genetics, illness, and trauma.


There’s no fibromyalgia gene that we know of, but fibromyalgia often appears multiple times within families. This makes researchers believe there is some sorts of genetic susceptibility. (1)


Different, unrelated illnesses can often start off a chain of symptoms which lead, ultimately, to the development of fibromyalgia. (1)


Physical or emotional trauma can cause the development of fibromyalgia. (1)

Lady Gaga’s Trauma

When Lady Gaga was 22, she released “Just Dance,” which became an instant success. But, before that, when she was 19, she was raped by a music producer. She said, in 2016, she had developed PTSD as a result of the attack. However, it’s also the trauma she pinpoints as the root of her fibromyalgia. (2)

The Reality Of Lady Gaga’s Fibromyalgia.

Lady Gaga Says She Gets ‘So Irritated’ By People Who Say Her Chronic Pain Isn’t Real

In Lady Gaga’s 2017 Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, Lady Gaga reveals that she becomes “so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real.” 

“For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder,” she explains, “all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result. People need to be more compassionate.” 

Although, she has to spend “every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel,” she also thinks “It’s getting better every day.”  While some celebrities may have taken the opportunity to credit their own dedication, Gaga is humble. “I have fantastic doctors,” she says. They “take care of me and are getting me show-ready.” Of course, not every day is wonderful, and Gaga still has to be mindful of her health. In 2018, she shortened a tour by ten shows, due to her pain. (2)


Other Celebrities With Fibromyalgia

Lady Gaga is not the only person who suffers from this chronic pain condition. Morgan Freeman suffered a bad car accident in 2008, so, like Gaga, he believes trauma is the source of his fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia also affects Sinéad O’Connor and it’s believed that legendary nurse Florence Nightingale may have suffered from it, as well. (3)

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