Before becoming The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga dealt with her own monsters of depression, anxiety and PTSD from a young age. Her mother Cynthia Germanotta visited CBS This Morning on Wednesday (Oct. 23) and spoke about her daughter’s mental health as a middle-schooler.
A clip of Gaga’s empowering acceptance speech for best pop duo/group performance at the 61st Grammy Awards earlier this year preceded her mother’s interview, where she shined a light on mental health issues. Now, Germanotta has taken on the task by opening up about her daughter’s early struggles and sharing advice for parents who find themselves in the same position as she was.
“As a parent, I wasn’t prepared to really address this. Stefani was very unique, and that wasn’t always appreciated by her peers, and as a result, she went through a lot of difficult times — humiliated, taunted, isolated,” she told CBS This Morning hosts Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil.
She continued to reveal how Gaga went from “a very happy and aspirational young girl to somebody that started to question her self-worth, to have doubts about herself” when she was in middle school.
The mother-daughter duo co-founded the Born This Way Foundation in 2012 “to support the mental and emotional wellness of young people by putting their needs, ideas, and voices first,” according to the nonprofit’s mission. But for Germanotta, it took time for her to know how to deal with her daughter’s issues and getting over the generational mentality of “get over it.”
She spoke about the profound impact one’s mental health can have on their family members and friends, especially how it generates conflicting feelings of misunderstanding, guilt and helplessness.
“No family is immune from this, and we should all really learn where we would go and who we would turn to if something like this happened in our families,” she said. “The most important thing [parents] can do is really listen and understand. What I learned from my daughter is to listen and validate her feelings. I think as parents, our natural instinct is to go into problem-solving mode, when in fact, they really just want us to take them seriously and understand what they’re saying.”
Watch Germanotta’s interview below.