An inherent part of being a mother is wanting to protect and help your kids, but we don’t always know how. In a new interview, Lady Gaga’s mom discusses her daughter’s mental health journey for that very reason — in the hope that keeping the dialogue about mental health and youth going will help other parents who are, like she was, unsure of what to look for and where to turn for answers.
Gaga’s mom, Cynthia Germanotta, opened up on the TODAY show on their digital series Through Mom’s Eyes. During the segment, Germanotta recounted to host Sheinelle Jones what it was like to parent a teen struggling with depression and other mental health issues — many of which were exacerbated by severe bullying. “In middle school, because she was unique, she started experiencing a lot of struggles,” Germanotta revealed. “You know, feeling isolated from events. Humiliated. Taunted. And she would start to question herself and become doubtful of her own abilities. And that’s when she developed depression.”
While Germanotta obviously wanted to fix the problems and take her daughter’s pain away, she admits she had no idea where to start. “We tried our best as parents to help her, but didn’t know everything,” she said.
According to the matriarch, she simply wasn’t as informed about mental health then as she is now — it wasn’t something people talked about as much. “I felt where I made mistakes was I didn’t really know the warning signs to look for,” she said. It wasn’t until she teamed up with her daughter to start the Born This Way Foundation that she realized how many other families experienced the same confusion and struggles.
“As her career took off and we were traveling the world and talking to young people, we realized how many other young people had similar experiences,” Germanotta told Jones.
Ultimately, seeing and hearing that helped Germanotta to understand why being so candid about her mental health journey was “very healing” for both Gaga and her fans. And as she makes evident in her interview with Through Mom’s Eyes, it also helped her understand how invaluable it could be for other parents to become a part of this growing (oh-so-important) dialogue.