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Lady Gaga’s mother talks about daughter’s depression on Today

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Lady Gaga‘s mother says she wishes she had known that the pop superstar was depressed sooner — but helping her daughter and learning to be strong for her has helped her be a better mother. 

Cynthia Germanotta, 66, sat down for a video interview with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show this morning and spoke about the Born This Way Foundation, their new book, and Gaga’s battle with depression.  

‘Her issues started in middle school with bullying. And as a result, she developed anxiety and depression at a very early age,’ she said. ‘And I didn’t really understand the warning signs.’

Looking for signs: Lady Gaga’s mother says she wishes she had known that the pop superstar was depressed sooner

‘he developed anxiety and depression at a very early age,’ she said. ‘And I didn’t really understand the warning signs’

Cynthia went on: ‘She and I didn’t really understand what was happening. And it’s not uncommon for depression or anxiety to go undiagnosed up to ten years.

‘I really wish I had known sooner and then later.

‘And then later in high school, when her issues became even [more] heightened and there was destructive behavior associated with it, I could see a cry for help.

‘I got more involved, I got better at listening, we got her some help. I just wish I had known the warning signs earlier as a parent, because they are there.  

‘I used to say it was hard for me, and it was at the time,’ Cynthia added.

‘But together we have learned over the years to arrive at a better place, where I feel that I can now listen and validate her emotions, because they’re very real. And now I can be strong for her. It’s made me a better mother.

‘I used to say it was hard for me, and it was at the time,’ Cynthia

‘But together we have learned over the years to arrive at a better place, where I feel that I can now listen and validate her emotions, because they’re very real,’ she told Hoda and Jenna

‘It’s made me a better mother,’ she said. ‘It made me feel better equipped to deal with everything that we confront every day with these people at the [Born This Way] Foundation’

‘It made me feel better equipped to deal with everything that we confront every day with these people at the [Born This Way] Foundation.

‘Any time you see your child in need or in pain, I think as parents we immediately go into fix-and-protect mode. But in fact, they just want us to listen to them. They want us to validate their feelings. Not judge them. And also share our own struggles.

‘We’ve learned through our research that one of the reasons young people don’t share their struggles is that we as parents don’t share our own. We think we have to be really tough and just buck up and get on with it, but it goes a long way to be very honest and have a healthy conversation.’ 

In mid-September, Gaga — whose real name is Stefani Germanotta — told People that she was in a ‘dark place’ before releasing her latest album, Chromatica. 

‘Her issues started in middle school with bullying,’ she recalled

‘And then later in high school, when her issues became even [more] heightened and there was destructive behavior associated with it, I could see a cry for help,’ she went on

‘I used to wake up in the morning, and I would realize I was “Lady Gaga.” And then I became very depressed and sad, and I didn’t want to be myself,’ she said. 

‘I felt threatened by the things my career brought into my life and the pace of my life.

‘I spent a lot of time in a sort of catatonic state of just not wanting to do anything. And then I finally, slowly started to make music and tell my story through my record.” 

Gaga has shared her experiences with several outlets, and her mother tells Today she is ‘very proud of my daughter for sharing her story.’

‘I believe that that was the beginning of this beautiful journey where she would share her story of her struggles as a young girl while she was on stage and while we spoke to young people all over the world. 

Music: In mid-September, Gaga — whose real name is Stefani Germanotta — told People that she was in a ‘dark place’ before releasing her latest album, Chromatica

Read up! The foundation has now released a book called Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, which is a collection of stories of friendship

‘The power behind this book is these young people have been so courageous and overcoming their struggles,’ Cynthia said

‘We realized that there was an enormous need for other young people to share their stories and I feel like hers gave them permission to share theirs and that’s why we created the foundation,’ she said.

‘Kindness has been the inspiration for her life’s work, and for her art. So back in 2012 we formed the foundation to make kindness cool and validate the emotions of young people all around the world. And also eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental health.’

Now, they pair have put out a new book called Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, which is a collection of stories of friendship.

‘The power behind this book is these young people have been so courageous and overcoming their struggles,’ Cynthia said.

‘They have prevailed in the face of bullies and written about it, they have started nonprofits and broken down the stigma around mental health. This book is their hit song, it is their anthem and it’s an inspiration to all of us.

‘We always believed in uplifting the voices of young people and that’s what this book is all about.’

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