Superstar Lady Gaga hasn’t always felt comfortable in her own skin. The singer’s mom, Cynthia Germanotta, recently opened up about her daughter’s battle with depression which began when her daughter was in middle school.
Germanotta was interviewed as part of Today’s digital series “Through Mom’s Eyes.” During her interview, the mom got candid about her daughter’s struggles with mental health issues, in part because of “severe bullying.”
Germanotta explained that as a child, Gaga—born Stefani Germanotta—was different than her peers. “In middle school, because she was unique, she started experiencing a lot of struggles,” her mom told co-host Shenielle Jones. “You know, feeling isolated from events. Humiliated. Taunted.”
Lady Gaga’s Mom Opens up About How She Dealt With Daughter’s Mental Health When She Was a Teen
Germanotta said that the constant ridicule caused the now popstar to “question herself and become doubtful of her own abilities.” It was then that “she developed depression. We tried our best as parents to help her, but didn’t know anything.”
Germanotta admitted that at the time she was at a loss on how to address her daughter’s depression. “I felt where I made mistakes was, I didn’t really know the warning signs to look for,” she said.
As People reports, Gaga has also been open about her mental health struggles, including her battle with PTSD. The singer hopes that by speaking about her past she can help fans dealing with similar challenges. The 33-year-old also opened up about being sexually assaulted at age 19.
She said in an interview with Vogue, “For me, with my mental health issues, half of the battle in the beginning was, I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew. So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD because I don’t want to hide – any more than I already have to.”
To help support more young people who are dealing with their own mental health issues, the mother and daughter duo created a non-profit organization called, Born This Way Foundation, in 2012. Germanotta said of the charity:
“It’s something that’s very, very personal to us and it goes back to the struggles Stefani had growing up. She envisioned a world where young people were better equipped to deal with struggles than she was.”
During an award show speech, Gaga said that she wished there was a place she should turn when she was dealing with bullying and depression as a teen. “I wish there had been a system in place to protect and guide me. A system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do. A system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do.”
Gaga continued, “A system in place to empower me to stay away from toxic working environments or working with people that were of seriously questionable character. There were days I struggled or couldn’t make it to work, and I don’t want that for other artists, or for anyone.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.