PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Wednesday was Unity Day, a day when students across the country were encouraged to wear orange to stand together against bullying. With bullying often comes issues with mental health. Doctors say 60 million adults and adolescents are living with a mental health condition in the U.S.
Some of the most common conditions include anxiety and depression and they can strike anyone, even people who are famous.
Lady Gaga was bullied in middle school, according to her mom.
“And as a result, she went through a lot of difficult times,” Cynthia Germanotta said. “Humiliated, taunted, isolated.”
Germanotta says as a teenager, her daughter Stefani — Lada Gaga — struggled with depression, anxiety and PTSD.
“What I really learned, no family is immune,” Germanotta said.
Online bullying is increasing among middle and high school students, according to a national student survey.
According to the survey, 20% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 said they were bullied. In that group, 15% said they were bullied online or via text.
Girls were more at risk.
“Boys might use their cellphones and the internet more for games, but girls use their phones and their tablets more for communication and connection and support,” therapist Tatiana Falcone said. “If someone is being cyberbullied and this is their main way of communication, they might feel more isolated and it might impact them more.”
Research has shown a link between bullying, depression and suicide, and sadly, parents are often the last to know.
“What I learned from my daughter is to listen and validate her feelings,” Germanotta said.
Rates of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents are rising and suicide rates in nearly all age groups are at the highest levels in 30 years.
“Only about four in 10 adults who experience a mental health condition get treatment,” Angela Kimball, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said. “And that means six out of 10 are going without any kind of treatment.”
Research shows therapy and/or medications can help people better cope with mental health conditions.
Lady Gaga and her family created the Born This Way Foundation, which is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.