The singer opened up on a surprise visit to a centre for homeless LGBT youth in New York, saying kindness from friends and family had ‘saved her life’.

The Guardian reported that Lady Gaga has revealed she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Visiting the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth in New York in November, she spoke out about her mental illness for the first time. Her comments were aired in an interview on Monday night.

The multiple-Grammy-Award-winner revealed two years ago that she had been raped at the age of 19 by a man who was 20 years older.

“I told the kids today that I suffer from a mental illness ,” she said in a Today show interview about the visit, which aired on NBC on Monday. “I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are. But the kindness that’s shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it’s really saved my life.”

Lady Gaga , whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, was filmed speaking at the centre, after a surprise visit that included an intimate acoustic performance as part of the network’s Share Kindness campaign.

“I have a mental illness , and I struggle with that mental illness every day,” she said. She shared the meditation and mantra she uses as therapy: “You are brave, you are courageous.”

She told Today, “These children are not just homeless or in need; many of them are trauma survivors, they’ve been rejected in some type of way. My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others.”

“It’s really important to remind kids who are suffering from a traumatic experience or from abandonment, to remind them that they’re not alone, and that they’re loved,” she continued. “We are in this together.”

The singer, 28, first spoke out about her rape on the Howard Stern show in December 2014. “I was about 19,” she said at the time. “I went to Catholic school and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, ‘Oh, is this just the way adults are?’... I was very naïve.”

“It happens every day, and it’s really scary, and it’s sad,” she said, explaining that the true effects didn’t hit until four or five years later. She didn’t tell anyone about it for seven years. “I was so traumatized by it that I was like, ‘Just keep going.’ Because I just had to get out of there.”