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Lady Gaga's Struggle with Depression

Aisling FitzGibbon

 

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta once said she invented her Lady Gaga persona to help her battle against depression and anxiety. Positive measures to relieve depression, however well meaning, don't address the underlying biochemical imbalance. In 2013, following hip surgery, Lady Gaga's depression reared its ugly head and affected her sleeping and energy levels. Her resilience to deal with life and stand up to people diminished. At one point, she admitted “I really felt like dying – my light completely out”.

Lady Gaga admits to being helped by taking antidepressant medication which means that the type of depression she suffers from responds to antidepressants. According to Dr Bill Walsh, author of Nutrient Power, there are 5 biotypes of depression, two of which respond to SSRI medication. One of these biotypes is found in people who are undermethylated.

Methylation is involved in almost every reaction in our body and occurs billions of times every second in our cells. The methylation cycle is the name given to a biochemical pathway that contributes to a wide range of bodily functions such as detoxification, immune function, energy production, control of homocysteine levels, control of inflammation, cancer prevention, neurotransmitter balance and  membrane fluidity. Methylation helps to continuously repair our DNA.

Problems with methylation occur for many reasons including environmental toxins such as heavy metals, genetic inheritance, poor diet, alcohol, smoking, a high sugar diet, stress and emotional trauma.  Certain medications can also lead to undermethylation such as acid blockers, the contraceptive pill, Dilantin for seizures and methotrexate as they deplete the B vitamins needed for the methylation cycle.

When too few methyl molecules are available to add to enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters as well as to DNA itself, undermethylation occurs. According to Dr Carl Pfeiffer those who are undermethylators tend to produce lower levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, Conditions that can be associated with undermethylation are low energy, anaemia,  anxiety, depression and anorexia.  

Profiling Lady Gaga, I would take a guess that she is undermethylated as she has a history of high achievement, is highly motivated and creative. She also has allergies such as to honey, grass, cherries and vanilla which would indicate high histamine production. Elevated histamine results in undermethylation. Lady Gaga also has a history of cocaine usage- addictions are higher in those with undermethylation. She has admitted she has been addicted to various things since she was young.

Lady Gaga experienced sexual abuse when she was raped at the age of 19. As a result of this she experiences dissociation so her mind doesn’t relive her pain. The trauma of abuse can lead to undermethylation as the minerals we need for methylation such as magnesium and zinc are rapidly excreted from the body with stress. “When something traumatic happens, your brain disconnects so that it can handle it. But it stays in your tissues, physically in you” said Lady Gaga about the trauma she experienced. I agree with what she says as I believe that everything that happens to us imprints on a cellular level, with the result that trauma gets locked into the tissues, arresting the person in time. Issues literally get locked into the tissues of the body.

Working with clients using dietary healing and supplements begins to release the toxicity in the cells and normalises methylation status. Any issues locked into the tissues also begin to be eliminated. By changing the biochemistry, issues are released and come up to be resolved. I know from my own experience and from working with clients that once physical toxicity is released the emotional body becomes unstuck. It is always so fascinating to witness what really lies within.  

In September 2016, Lady Gaga admitted she was still taking medication to help her cope with depression. To open up her methylation pathways she will need to detox from any metals, including copper, increase her intake of magnesium, methionine, zinc, choline, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and B12. Folic acid levels need to be monitored in those with undermethylation problems as they tend to develop excessive levels of folates. This can worsen depression.

If Lady Gaga is thinking of having children in the future, she is best advised to check her methylation status now as the next generation can be affected.  If both parents are undermethylated prior to conception, there is a risk of autism in the next generation. Undermethylation in the womb causes overexpression of several genes, weakened protection against oxidative stress and increased vulnerability to environmental insults. Undermethylation in the womb is a major factor in brain development and epigenetic errors.

If Lady Gaga finds that she is undermethylated, she will need to check her folate status. Folate is needed for the prevention of neural tube defects but it can have side effects for both mother and baby is one or both are undermethylated. It is only needed in the first trimester of pregnancy as this is when the brain is fully formed. Children with autism are mostly undermethylated.

I work with clients who are keen to work on their health status before conception to give them the best possible chance to have a healthy baby. The blood tests that I use (Dr Bill Walsh protocol) checks methylation status, deficiencies and toxicity of certain minerals and metals. If you are interested in working with me please fill out my clarity application form.