Demi Lovato on her bulimia: “I’m going to have to fight it for the rest of my life”

Demi Lovato’s been though a lot in her nineteen years. In just the past couple of years, she’s gone from being one of the foremost Disney starlets (with her own tv series, “Sonny With a Chance,” and the Camp Rock movies under her belt) to having a complete meltdown after a nasty breakup with Joe Jonas. Soon afterward, she punched a backup dancer (which she later admitted was completely out of line) and headed to rehab for a nervous breakdown. After she emerged, Demi talked a lot about her cutting, daddy issues, and eating disorders.

At this point, it feels like we’ve already heard so much from Demi about the these issues, and now she’s talking again about it again at great length. Of course, Demi’s currently promoting her latest album, Unbroken, which is fairly heavy, emotional stuff for a pop record and almost exclusively based upon the turmoil of the past few years. So she’s allowed to delve into even greater detail than before, right? Now on with the show:

Why she’s talking so much: “I was very sick but luckily I got the help I needed,” says Demi quietly, “and I’m here today, hopefully preventing young girls from doing the same things I did to myself. I know that I have a voice and can use it for good or bad. It’s a gift from God. I knew I could share my experience and be of service or not tell anybody and be like the rest of Hollywood and hide my secrets. I didn’t want to do that.”

On her eating disorder: “I’ve never had a relationship with food that was normal. I remember looking in the mirror with nappies on thinking, ‘You’re fat, change it.’ I started overeating when I was about eight; I was a binge eater. I would bake a whole plate of cookies and eat them all. Then when I turned 12 I was bullied in school and they called me fat. I went from being an overeater to stopping eating and I lost about 30lb. From then on I continued undereating, but my weight plateaued. [Then] I started throwing up to lose weight. It was just a matter of manipulating situations and hiding — you get very clever and very secretive. The tricky part about this disease is that you start lying to the people around you and turn into someone that you’re not. It’s scary.”

On cutting: ‘I started when I was 12, when I was bullied. It was my way of dealing with the stress and then I often resorted to it when I was feeling overworked. Girls [who self-harm] scratch or cut themselves with razor blades, scissors or sharp objects, or burn themselves. I’ve pretty much tried all of it. My main thing was cutting and that was so horrible. I definitely self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. I would be lying if I said I didn’t,’ she adds.

She’s different than other celebrity rehab patients: “The key is that you have to want it. The problem with a lot of celebrities is that they go into rehab, but they don’t stay for the full amount of time. I wanted to go home after 30 days, but they told me, ‘No, you’re not better.’ I went through 14 hours of therapy every day. It wasn’t fun. There were sessions from seven in the morning until nine at night: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous and Self Mutilators Anonymous. It was constant emotional work and exhausting; by the end of the day, all you wanted to do was sleep. It was very humbling. I had been used to waking up in hotels, getting room service for breakfast and having my room cleaned. Now I had to make my own bed. I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom by myself because they were afraid that I was going to purge, and we weren’t allowed to have razors, so I had hairy legs.”

She’s still recovering: “Now I can eat as many meals as I am supposed to and not throw up any more. There’s definitely temptation — every meal I fight it. It’s an addiction and I’m going to have to fight it for the rest of my life. There’s no cure and I may mess up, but I want to be a better role model for my fans and my younger sister. There are days when I look in the mirror and think, ‘God, my jeans don’t fit today — this sucks.’ But I’m in a much more spiritual place now.”

Why she quit acting for music: “I know that I could be in a fragile state of mind if I go back in front of the camera; I’m not really confident enough. The camera adds 10lb and I feel like I have too many tattoos right now to go back on screen. I want to act again if they can find a way to cover my tattoos and one day I’d love to be respected as an actress. When you are on stage singing, you are far away from people, you’re not up close and it’s very liberating.”

[From Daily Mail]

Demi also goes on to name her style icons: Stevie Nicks (I can definitely see the influence there) and Kim Kardashian (say what?). As far as musicians that she admires, Demi names Rihanna and Katy Perry and says, “I’d love to be on their level.” Kaiser and I were discussing the irony of that statement because Demi is actually a much better singer than those other two. Interestingly enough, Demi lists Gerard Butler as the person with whom she’d most want to be stuck in an elevator. Hmm.

As a side note, those tattoos that Demi discussed in this interview were actually a means to cover her cutting scars, which is a rather heartbreaking revelation. Still, I think Demi is on the mend and hopefully the recent blind item about heading back to rehab isn’t about Demi at all. She seems far too self-aware in this interview to have fallen back into her former ways already.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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43 Responses to “Demi Lovato on her bulimia: “I’m going to have to fight it for the rest of my life””

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  1. Helvetica says:

    It’s getting boring and tiring to hear her talking about these.

    Does she have nothing else to talk about or is it these issues that “sells” her ?
    The fact that she talks about it in detail just make it plain suspicious

    • Samigirl says:

      She has LOTS of tweens that look up to her. Talking about the issue gets it out there, and makes kids become more aware. By talking about it, she will reach girls who feel the same way, and hopefully not follow the dangerous path so many girls are choosing to go down. I hope that when my daughter on the way is 11 or so and nothing is making her feel better, there is SOMEONE out there she will listen to that is saying these things. If it just changes 1 person, that’s enough. I like Demi. I like that she was big enough to say she made mistakes and had problems. Props to her. As for you, if you’re tired about reading about it, don’t read it. Nobody is forcing you to click the link.

      • Helvetica says:

        It’s a free site, i can say what’s in my mind.
        It’s great that she speaks up about her issues, but i personally feel like it’s so repetitive. I hope there’ll be something better for her in the future.

      • smith says:

        I’m going to say what we’re all thinking, “Boy George called …” (and you know the rest).

        Wow, I just wildly outed my age there didn’t I.

    • Samigirl says:

      You absolutely are more than welcome to say what’s on your mind. I just don’t understand why you would click on a link, full well KNOWING what she’s talking about, just to say that you’re sick of hearing about it? A little ridiculous.

      She’s 19 and having to deal with bullies and low self esteem. Cut the girl a break.

      • Helvetica says:

        I actually feel bored about it AFTER i read the whole piece in dailymail, not just few lines.
        I was hoping to get a different p.o.v but this piece isn’t different to her previous interview.

        And by that i don’t mean that i don’t sympathize with her situation, cause i do. I’m close to her age range and see how these things can really affect a girl’s live.
        I just hope in another interview it’d be focusing about her career.

    • Samigirl says:

      Fair enough.

      • someone says:

        no disrespect to her, i think she’s doing an awesome job talking about it and i feel so sad for her over what has happened…but idk part of me thinks that instead of just doing interviews and getting $$$ for her story and her advice, she should consider going to schools and meeting with young women in rehab centers and other places to really talk to them for free…unless she is already doing this stuff (i just have never heard of it, so i’m not sure). that’s the only thing; it just seems like she’s collecting money for her stance as a role model, when if she really wants to help she shouldn’t be making money off of it. also she listed in this same interview that her role model was RIHANNA of all people…smh no demi, no…

      • James says:

        @someone Well she did go to schools and places to talk to rehab centers for free. She recently visited her rehab center she stayed at and gave a speech. Not to mention doctors also get paid for their services as well. I mean it’s not like the world runs on the current concept of money for exchange of goods and services right?

  2. teehee says:

    True… but after the first 3-5 years it will get much easier. You learn your boundaries and just learn never to cross them and thus to ‘trigger’ a reaction– and I think the hardest part is getting others to accept those boundaries with you. You usually wind up being the person who eats the least out of everyone in the group- others seem to have more of a problem with that than you ever will. But, if it means that what smaller amount you eat, you actually keep– then so be it.

    • kay says:

      ^^ this.

      I admire that she is talking about it, and that it’s real. It is a daily struggle.

      What she is saying is true- so she should get the word out to people who think that maybe what Gaga had to say was true- it wasn’t. It bothered me more that gaga tried to say she was bulimic when she so obviously has never suffered with it.

      • Jayna says:

        Typical Gaga.

      • suzymoon says:

        she admitted to it YEARS ago…and she didnt say much only that she’d throw up then have a line and go to another meeting.. .Also in the end of marry the night video theres a scene(about her begginings)where she throws up,dont hate!

  3. Ailine says:

    She looks slightly arrogant in those pictures. That aside, I’m glad that she talks about her eating disorder. There are a lot of women and kids with eating disorders of varying degrees. I think it is a reminder of how cruel people can be as little children that she started binge eating and restricting her food at such an early age. I wish people would let people be human. I wish people were allowed to have faults without being picked apart for them. And being a chubby kid is hardly a fault. A lot of time it is just bad genes. I’ve seen little kids who are unfortunately built like their overweight parents. Let people be! We should start by teaching kids to be nice by not snarking on people in front of them.

  4. Mary says:

    Kim K as a style influence? So her goal is to be tacky as hell? Anyway, I’ve had friends with several of the same issues as Demi so while I definitely feel for the girl, her talking nonstop about her issues isn’t going to make me run out and buy her album (although I’m sure I’m not her target demographic anyway).

  5. aenflex says:

    She’s drop dead gorgeous and props for being so candid.

  6. Jayna says:

    I like that she hasn’t sugarcoated the seriousness of it, like it’s over, no struggle. Demi has a great voice. I hope she stays on a healthy path on such a hard business.

  7. ella says:

    She definitely is better than Rihanna (its just her image that is sold)

  8. Photo JoJo says:

    I cut myself all the time in jr high but that was long before it was a thing. Now I have tattoos too – many of them – and I think the idea is the same: inflicting pain is a rush. But the results are much more beautiful.

  9. Julie says:

    I don’t know if she has an ED or not but I do think she focuses on that so we won’t discuss her alleged heavy drug problem.

    • suzymoon says:

      now..THAT IS CLEVER!Im really wondering what she was (and sorry,but probably is) doing…stop thinking shes an angel ppl

      • James says:

        And I am wondering how vapid and insignificant your life must be to live vicariously through celebrity coat tail riding. I bet you hear this a lot. Give me a number three with everything on it 🙂

    • James says:

      But she addressed h drug usage already…she stated so many times, she self medicated. She addressed it. You must have been asleep or in a coma during those interviews.

  10. spinner says:

    She needs to address her bottom-line problem here. Drugs. I don’t know how many more smoke-screens they can throw up. Just another spoiled Disney brat. Sick of it.

    • normades says:

      What Julie and Spinner said.

    • James says:

      And you know what her bottom line problem is? I assume you know her personally right? I mean you couldn’t possibly be talking out of your rear like some border line invalid with a speech impediment right? I didn’t know it was so easy to diagnose someone over the Internet without their personal files. Oh wait…you’re being an assuming nit wit. My apologies.

      • normades says:

        Her drug use has been very well documented by many different sources. I’m not saying that she’s not sufferenig from an ED but I think that’s just one of her many problems (the others she is not adressing).

        But I guess YOU must know her so well.

      • James says:

        Thank you normades for stating the obvious. Your observation skills are top notch. However your listening skills leave much to the imagination. I wasn’t talking about her using drugs in the past. I was talking about how this spinner simpleton claimed to know what her issues were. Again I mean since you two have shown me how easy it is to diagnose someone over the Internet with no access to her medical files, I assume that this isn’t just random accusations right? I mean this is such a huge discovery. Years of studying the human body and the correlation of science and human biology has been shot down! All anyone has to do now is go on celebrity gossip sites and say “she has a problem with so and so.” what brilliant intellectual showcasing!!!

        And this is not sarcasm by the way…seriously it’s not…look at how serious y tone is…for real.

      • James says:

        “But I guess YOU must know her so well.”

        Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I said. That I knew her. Your reading skills at truly unmatched….

  11. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    It’s apparent she is still facing her demons. Her stage in this, plus age, and industry she’s in, it’s understandable how vulnerable she must be. I hope she can overcome all of her obstacles and becomes a long-term success story.

  12. Me says:

    Bullies and low self esteem??? WOW that is SO rough. She can go F herself. Send the tard to pretty much anywhere else in the world and then she’ll know what having it rough means. War, famine, disease. Her problem is that she has had it too EASY to appreciate anything in life. I have family members who survived war and rape and watching their family members being chopped to peices and thrown down wells. Do they binge and purge and whine and cry about battling their emotions? NO. The are joyful people, happy people, well adjusted people who appreciate their lives.

    • TheOriginalVictoria says:

      And through all of that they didn’t teach you compassion and not comparing someone else’s pain to others? You have no idea what it’s like obviously to be tortured in middle and high school every day of your life, especially when living in a place where everyone knows everyone and you can’t hide away.

      Get a sensitivity chip.

      • spinner says:

        @ Original Victoria…and you’re comparing being bullied in school to the atrocities of war, rape & hunger?? You should be ashamed of yourself. You are the one that needs a check.

        @ me…very sorry for your tragic experiences. My best to you.

      • G. says:

        You know what? I’m her age, and it IS a big deal. To face addictions and eating disorders in your teens is chaotic. Teenagers already have to face hormones, peer pressure, growing into themselves as well as bullying and a lack of acceptance from peers. She’s struggled, and she’s honest about it, and is working on bettering herself, which is hard to do. You can say “F her” all you want, but I will choose to have more empathy.

  13. some bitch says:

    Can this stupid c–t shut the up already? I’m so sick of hearing about how she had to go to rehab because she did too much blow and was upset with how her body looked when she works for DISNEY. Those “cuts” on her wrist were scratches, but she really has to milk that “special snowflake” if she’s going to swindle self-conscious preteens out of all their money. Bitch, please. Her life must be SOOOO hard.

    Demi has millions and will never deal with the realities of the mental health system.

    I’d love to see her dealing with the ACTUAL mental health system. The kind where you wait four months to see a psychiatrist, if not longer. The kind where doctors are more likely to treat you with disrespect. The dangerously underfunded, overcrowded and understaffed mental health system. THAT ONE. The stigma attached to the condition I live with isn’t fair (I have Bipolar I disorder and issues with anxiety that ARE getting better, but it’s taken YEARS) but I try to challenge stereotypes through academic excellence. I will live with this condition for the rest of my days and it can be a real demon, but it’s probably contributed to my accomplishments too… in a weird way. I see my shrink, try to live a healthy lifestyle, take my meds and keep my goddamn mouth shut. Mostly because I focus on more than the fact I have Bipolar I disorder.

    Honestly, if I ever see this girl in real life I may deck her in the face and very hard. Then I’ll spend years complaining about my subsequent stint in the psych ward and write a shitty album about the whole experience. Americans will eat that kind of crap up immediately.

    (part of me wants to get famous just so I can out-crazy this entitled whiner.)

    • Orange Cone says:

      you are so damn right about the mental health system and psychiatry(ist)… my friend almost committed suicide; he was missing for three weeks, living in his car- completely unrecognizable until they finally diagnosed him properly and put him on the right meds. he’s okay now, but not the same smh

    • skipper says:

      Last sentence sounds fun. And make it a funner crazy than her and lilo. If youre going to have a public breakdown make it more enjoyable than cutting and barfing.

    • Shy says:

      I agree with you. I’m so tired of that Demi Lovato person. I never saw any celebrity to exploit rehab so much. Her whole C-list career is based upon her rehab. Other celebrities go to rehab, get help and get over it. But this Demi person talks about rehab in EVERY interview for years now.

      And then we read how went back to rehab again.

      • TheSkyver says:

        You NEVER Saw a celeberity “Exploit” rehab for their careers? Really? Well then i guess you never heard of people like RObert Downey Jr, Britney Spears, Steve Tyler, Eddie Van Halen, then right? Hell during RDJ’s comeback years HE has talked about his rehab stint for quite a while. It wasnt only until 2008 when he stopped.

        Not to big on doing your research are you?

    • jackfrost says:

      Actually a prison tattoo would be more or less that of a chain gang someone joined. God you can’t even insult her right yet you talk about abou excellence in academics, whatever the heck that means?

      But yeah she will enjoy her music career “while” it lasts sweet pea. Seriously babe that is some top notch grammar skills you got going on. Good job feeding her pr machine btw lol.

      Sent from my iPad

  14. Orange Cone says:

    I dont mind Demi; she’s doesnt annoy me, but I think her problem is that she’s trying to make ‘her happen’…she’s successful, but I think she wants JLo success or something, and that’s just not her forte. She puts herself out there and the reception is kinda ‘meh’…and remember, she had a substance abuse problem so this is like her drug and when youre not up, youre down.

  15. some bitch says:

    On another note, is that a tattoo of a crucifix on her hand? That’s very prison-chic of her.

    You enjoy that music career when it lasts, sweetpea.