Lady Gaga isn’t shy when it comes to talking about her mental health. She’s long been open about her struggles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
But it turns out that her mental health issues run deeper than we knew and go all the way back to her childhood. Her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, recently spoke with CBS This Morning about the first time she recognized her daughter was having trouble. She said,
“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. When you’re a young woman, this really severely impacts you. And it was in middle school when I saw that turn happen. She went from a very happy and aspirational young girl to somebody that started to question her self-worth, to have doubts about herself. That is when we actually saw the turn.”
But sadly for Gaga, her mother didn’t really know how to help her. Cynthia admitted,
“When I was growing up, times were different. The way that we would deal with things is what I learned. That’s what I resorted to. You know, I relied on getting a grip. I relied on the generational grit of just sucking it up and getting on with it.”
Eventually, Gaga and her mother came to an understanding about her mental health and even started the Born This Way Foundation together back in 2012. The organization works to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of today’s youth.
Since then, both have worked tirelessly to try and erase the stigma that comes with mental health. Her mother Cynthia has mostly worked quietly behind the scenes while Gaga has used her platform to speak out.
Lady Gaga’s childhood narrative is one that so many can identify with. But for a lot of us, that acceptance we desperately seek from our parents will never come.
As a generation raised by baby boomers, many of us tried our best to stuff down our emotions because, when we would confide in our parents about emotional pain we were feeling, we’d often get dismissed.
As we grew into adults, we became the first generation to openly seek therapy and medication to help us manage our mental health. While our parents’ generation would whisper to each other about so-and-so taking antidepressants, we’re off comparing notes with friends and referring each other to mental healthcare providers that have served us well.
Hopefully, Cynthia’s story will inspire other parents. Because if one baby boomer can change her perspective so completely, there’s still hope for others.
And let this story serve as a reminder to millennials that our “snowflake” approach may often be mocked by the very people who raised us, but it will result in future generations full of Lady Gagas — which is not a bad legacy to leave behind.
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