Pop star Lady Gaga told residents at an LGBT youth shelter in Harlem that she has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At the Ali Forney Centre in New York, Gaga shared what she called one of her "deepest secrets" with youngsters.

"I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day. My own trauma in my own life has helped me to understand the trauma of others," the singer said on The Today Show that aired on Monday (5 December).

The Born This Way singer was at the shelter as part of the #ShareKindness campaign, which is put on by Today and NBC Universal to celebrate acts of kindness. During her visit to the centre, Gaga spoke to residents, donated clothing and sang a selection of her hits.

She added: "I told the kids today, 'I suffer from PTSD.' I've never told anyone that before. So here we are."

It was through the help of others that she managed to get through her depression. "The kindness that's shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it's really saved my life."

The 32-year-old star confirmed she was raped at the age of 19 by a music producer 20 years her senior.

On Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show in 2014, she talked about her song Swine, from her 2013 Artpop album. "The song is about rape. The song is about demoralisation. The song is about and rage and fury and passion. I had a lot of pain I wanted to release."

Stern asked if she had been raped by a music company executive. "I feel like you were raped by someone. I think that's what you're saying."

Asked if she had ever confronted her abuser, Gaga said: "I think it would terrify me. It would paralyse me.

"I saw him one time in a store and I was so paralysed by fear. Because it wasn't until I was a little bit older that I went, 'Wow, that was really messed up.'"