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In her first interview since she was convicted of espionage, former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning says her quest for medical care has been distressing because she feels "like a joke" to military officials.

In 2013 a military judge sentenced Manning to 35 years in prison for providing government files to WikiLeaks, the website that publishes classified information. Manning began gender transitioning that same year and said she hoped to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.

Manning, 27, told Cosmopolitan that it’s "painful and awkward" to be forbidden from letting her hair grow.

She said she gets “through each day okay, but at night, when I'm alone in my room, I finally burn out and crash."

Last week the Justice Department declared denying hormone therapy to trans inmates could be a violation of their constitutional rights .

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"The fact that Chelsea is receiving hormone therapy and other treatment for gender dysphoria is an important victory for her that will hopefully ease her distress," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio told Cosmo.

"But her fight continues because the government is needlessly prohibiting her from growing her hair, which will continue to cause her significant anxiety.

Read the full interview, which was conducted via mail correspondence, at Cosmopolitan.