Lady GaGa thought about ''really dark s***'' every day after her 'Joanne' world tour.

The 34-year-old singer has recalled how depressed she felt in 2018 and admitted she was drinking and smoking heavily and felt too afraid to leave the house because she became overwhelmed by her own fame.

She told Billboard magazine: ''I used to wake up every day and remember I was Lady Gaga -- and then I would get depressed.

''I was peeling all the layers of the onion in therapy so as you dig deeper, you get closer to the core, and the core of the onion stinks.

''My existence in and of itself was a threat to me. I thought about really dark s*** every single day.''

The 'Poker Face' hitmaker resisted working through her discomfort and while people around her tried to help, she admitted she often pulled ''the Lady Gaga card''.

She explained: ''It's the one where you go, 'I'm Lady Gaga, you don't understand what it feels like, I want to dress how I want and be who I am without people noticing, why does everybody have to notice, I'm so sad, I don't even know why anymore, why are you making me talk about it?'... I gave that up in therapy.''

Producer BloodPop urged her to make music and, eventually, after spending some time chatting each day, the songs flowed quickly.

She said: ''I'm a savage when I want to write a pop song.''

And every time she had a new song, Gaga felt she was coming back to herself.

She recalled: ''I would cry and go, 'There it is -- hi! How's it going? Why do you got to hide?'

''If there's one glimmer inside you, celebrate it,'' says Gaga. ''When you find another one, celebrate it. One more? Call a friend, 'I did this today. I'm winning.' ''

Filming the video for her song '911' last month made her go back to how she felt when she wrote the track, but she was thankful she could simply shake off her feelings.

She said: ''Freedom for me is when I can go to the darkest part of my heart, visit things that are hard and then leave them behind.

''Give them to the world, and spin all the pain into a puddle of gold.''