Demi Lovato Opens Up About Eating Disorder, Drug Addiction: ‘I Didn’t Think I Would Make It to 21’

Demi Lovato
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Trying to stay on the right track. Demi Lovato opened up about her past eating disorder and drug addiction in a candid new interview with American Way magazine.

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The "Confident" singer, 23, revealed that her struggles with body image began when she was just a toddler. Her mother, Dianna Hart, showed signs of an eating disorder and her grandmother was bulimic. “Even though I was 2 or 3 years old, being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder," Lovato explained, "it’s hard not to grow up like that."

Lovato's participation in beauty pageants didn't help. Long before breaking out on Disney's Camp Rock, she began binge-eating at 9 and left the pageant world three years later.

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"My body-image awareness started way before that, but I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being on stage and judged for my beauty," she told the magazine. "When I was gaining weight because I was becoming a woman, I would look at those images and say to myself, ‘Wait, this is not what I look like. I’m getting fat on the hips and on my butt.'"

Lovato's troubles would continue into her early twenties. As previously reported, she began to self-medicate with alcohol, cocaine and Oxycontin. She entered a West Hollywood rehab facility in 2012 and lived in a sober house in L.A. the following year. Then, in May 2015, she told HuffPost Live that she was dealing with bipolar depression and was self-medicating to cope with the behavior.

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"Once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like Whack-a-Mole," Lovato recalled. "I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21."

Lovato, who had her last drink in January 2012, has been vocal about her journey ever since. She has become a role model to some, but admits that she wasn't fond of the title at first.

"I didn’t go into treatment thinking, OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration," she said. "At times, I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable."

Lovato has made huge strides since those darker days. Back in March, she celebrated four years of sobriety. "This last year I experienced so much life and too much death," she tweeted at the time. "But I made it through… Sober. #4Years #GodsWill."

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