Demi Lovato is on the cover of Self magazine this month, speaking out about her past struggles with self-harm, an eating disorder, and mental illness. She went into treatment for those issues in 2010. This isn’t the first time Demi has bravely spoken out about her issues, notably in the MTV documentary “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong”—but I’m still impressed and inspired by her candor and willingness to share her story in order to help others.
Demi, 19, told Self magazine:
There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin – that if I didn’t do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode. I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn’t care what happened. I had no fear.
Wow. I haven’t been a teenage girl for quite some time, but I vividly remember the kind of feelings she describes. When I was younger, self-harm issues were kind of like an open secret in girl culture: you had an idea of who did it, but you never said anything to them (or anyone else) about it, never discussed it in the open. Demi’s openness about her experience with cutting can hopefully provide an example to other girls (and women, and men) who struggle with these feelings of anxiety.
It sounds like Demi’s getting healthy in lots of ways. She’s meditating regularly, cognizant that recovery is a process:
I make time for myself and meditate. I’ve spent the past two years getting over an eating disorder and issues like self-harming and bipolar disorder. I have to work on this stuff every day. I’m reminded of that whenever I eat or feel down.
She’s even cut down on the use of her cell phone, something she says “subsconsciously…was a crutch.”
You can check out some of Demi’s other answers to tweeted fan questions over on Self.com. I’m so glad Self has given Demi a platform to talk honestly about this stuff; while the fitness topics Self usually gravitates towards are awesome, this mental health information is less-common, and so might be more valuable to the many women out there who need it.
Photo: Self Magazine