In a panel discussion on the documentary The Hunting Ground, Lady Gaga opened up about her struggle in the aftermath of being raped as a teenager.

“I didn’t tell anyone about it for I think seven years. I didn’t know how to think about it,” she said in a TimesTalks panel discussion, held by The New York Times. “I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how to not blame myself or think it was my fault. It’s something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely. It changed my body, it changed my thoughts.”

When she was asked how it changed her body, Gaga explained:

“When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications. For many people it has almost like trauma, where you re-experience it through the years after it. It can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress. So a lot of people suffer not just emotional and mental pain, but physical pain as a result of being abused, raped or traumatized in some way.”

Gaga recorded the song “Til It Happens To You” for The Hunting Ground, the documentary about campus sexual assault that aired on CNN. She revealed that she was raped as a teenager, but said she’s trying not to let it define her.

“I don’t want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if somebody’s going to say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did boiled down to one d-head that did that to me,” she told Howard Stern last December. “I’m gonna take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful and all the things made out of my strife, I did that.”