Demi Lovato speaks about treatment for eating disorder: 'It was an intervention. I wanted freedom from the inner demons.'


Image Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Disney star Demi Lovato is speaking out for the first time since she released a statement on video last month, following her admission to a treatment facility in November.

Talking to Seventeen, Lovato explained to fans: “I basically had a nervous breakdown. I was really bad off. My parents and manager pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to get some help.’ It was an intervention. I wanted freedom from the inner demons. I wanted to start my life over.”

Lovato’s interview with the magazine seemed aimed at helping young girls avoid similar problems. “If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends,” Lovato urged her fans. “Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s very crucial that you get your feelings out—but don’t ever inflict harm on you body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.”

There was always speculation about what exactly Lovato was being treated for, and her comments all but confirm that she was suffering from some type of eating disorder. “Yes, there have been times when I definitely have been tempted to get rid of my dinner,” she said. “But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it’s a life-long disease. I don’t think there’s going to be a day when I don’t think about food or my body, but I’m living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it.”

It was announced yesterday that Lovato would sit down with ABC’s Robin Roberts, which will air in parts on both Good Morning America and 20/20 on Friday, April 22.

How do you feel about Demi Lovato’s revelations? Are you shocked? Concerned?

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix

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Comments (61 total) Add your comment
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  • psychoanalyzer

    Good for her. Glad she got the help and support she needed. Great example for young girls dealing with the same issues.

    • Sarah O

      My 9-year-old daughter loves her, so I’m also very glad that she’s being open about it and sharing her story. What a beautiful, talented young lady!

  • Ktct

    She is quite fortunate to have family and friends who took her out of the spot light and got her help. Her parents seem more concerned about her welfare than her career. I wish her well in her recovery.

    • Reena

      Agree @ktct its good to know that some of these parents have their children’s health and well being as a priority and not thier own like a Lohan

    • Amy

      I agree as well! I know it’s an over-used example but just look at the Lohans! What a perfect example of how much your family and friends effect helping a person get better.

  • Stacie

    I’m glad this is happenign now and that she is admitting to her problems/treatment. So much better than waiting twenty years and divulging it in some tell-all. Her story could help others now.

  • Holly

    I’m sixteen and I battled anorexia and self-harm. It’s terrible. I cannot be happier about her coming forward and telling her story. I hope she realizes how many girls she’ll help with the article.

    • Heidi

      I hope you get the help you need Holly! Hang in there and respect the sacred gift of a healthy body – find someone who you can talk to and release your pain so you don’t internalize it! I’ll pray for you.

  • Doug

    oh great, the last thing demi needs is to be attacked by robin roberts.

  • ice castle

    It’s wonderful that she is publicly acknowledging her illness. She will be a wonderful inspiration to other people suffering from eating disorders.

  • Nelly

    It’s nice to hear that her parents truly care about her and don’t pimp her or her pain like other examples in hollywood.

  • sarah

    Good for you to get help and I am praying that what you went through will help others. This is a positive teen and should have the best exposure. Get rid of showing off for instance the teen moms, etc.

  • joebecca

    Well I guess it’s good that she got help, but I’m so confused.. I thought this whole “treatment” thing started over her smacking the crap out of someone in her tour.. how did that turn into an eating disorder?

    • Holly

      I assume she just finally lost it. A lot of mental illnesses go together. She had eating issues and she said said she just broke down. The smallest things can set someone off, especially someone with a mental illness who is struggling.

    • noam

      like holly said, her fight may have been connected to her illness. it was also reported (though, to be fair, never confirmed by lovato’s camp) that the dancer she smacked had expressed concerns over lovato’s behavior/weight to someone else on the tour. to someone struggling with an addiction or eating disorder, that kind of concern can be taken as an attack, especially if they aren’t in a place where they’re ready to hear they have a problem. if you have ever suspected someone of having a problem like this and they’ve lashed out in an extreme way, that’s pretty much confirmation that they’re ill.

    • Heidi

      That was just the straw…
      She’s had a history of self-harm (cutting) and I guess an eating disorder as well. I’m glad that incident woke her and her family up and it turned into something really good.

  • Giselle

    I’m just glad Demi is ok again (:

  • Joyce

    Glad she got some help before it was too late. Hopefully, by talking about it, she will end up helping other youths who are going through similar problems. Good for her…hope she remains strong and doesn’t relapse.

  • cripsy

    I have to believe that this girl is one troubled girl, she loves the media attention that is for sure. I can see her Dating Chris Brown soon and her admission she was in a abusive relationship.

    • whatnow

      Yeesh, way to be a total douche. She should be an idol for young girls everywhere. I applaud her immensely for admitting to her self that she had a problem. Most adults wouldn’t be able to do that, let alone an 18 year old. Well done Demi, and I wish you all the luck with your career and your personal life :)

      • dp

        she should be an idol? What about the girls (and yes, they do exist, even with celebrities) who have never had to go to rehab for any sort of addiction, violence, crime, etc. The ones that lead well- to do, scandal-free lives…
        i suppose she will inspire others with addictions, but that should be it. Young girls need more positive role models, think selena gomez, or miranda cosgrove.

      • dp

        of course that’s just with celebrities,
        young people should mainly be looking to parents, teachers, coaches etc as role models.

  • dee dee1

    I wish her well and happy she is doing o.k.

  • will g alvira

    Maybe, what she really needs is what every woman wants, a prince to sweep her off her feet. My favorite prince is that frog that transforms after getting a kiss .

    • m1

      No offense, but I really don’t think a boyfriend is what she needs right now considering the situation she’s in.

      • will g alvira

        Are you aware that I was being facetious? Besides, every girl always needs a boyfriend. That’s what always makes them feel good about themselves. Ha ha :-) .

  • allie

    wow i’m surprised to see so many positive comments! i’m glad she’s doing good and is admitting she has a problem, and maybe will even help others just by saying it

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