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Demi Lovato Says Eating Disorder Relapse Led to Her Overdose

Demi Lovato says that “falling back into” her past eating disorder led to her near-fatal overdose in August.

Related: Selena Gomez, Sam Smith and More Praise Demi Lovato for Her Powerful Comeback Performance at the 2020 Grammy Awards

The “Anyone” singer, 27, explained her relapse during the Friday, February 18, episode of Ashley Graham’s “Pretty Big Deal” podcast as she talked about her newfound sense of body positivity.

“I’m tired of running myself into the ground with workouts and extreme dieting,” she said. “I thought the past few years was recovery from an eating disorder, when it actually was just completely falling into it. And I just realized that, like, maybe my symptoms weren’t as obvious as before, but it was definitely an eating issue.”

Demi Lovato Says Eating Disorder Relapse Led to Drug Overdose
Demi Lovato. YouTube

She went on: “I think when you have certain people around you that are telling you certain things, that you should look a certain way, it makes it harder. I was in that situation, and I was just running myself into the ground. And I honestly think that’s kind of what led to everything happening over the past year. [It] was just, like, me thinking I found recovery when I didn’t, and then living this kind of lie and trying to tell the world I was happy with myself when I really wasn’t.”

Related: Demi Lovato Opens Up About Returning to the Stage Nearly 2 Years After Her Overdose in ‘Beats 1’ Interview

Lovato has been candid over the years about her eating disorder and substance abuse struggles. In 2016, she told American Way magazine about going to rehab for bipolar disorder and bulimia. “I thought, ‘I’m not in treatment for a drug and alcohol problem,’” she recalled at the time. “But once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like whack-a-mole.”

The Disney Channel alum was found unconscious after an accidental drug overdose in July 2018, and after a two-week hospital stay, she checked into a treatment center. In July 2019, a source told Us Weekly that “every day is a constant struggle” for the singer, who briefly checked back into treatment that March.

“She’s remained determined to lead a life of sobriety and live her life to its fullest potential, especially following the first anniversary of her relapse,” the source added.

Demi Lovato Says Eating Disorder Relapse Led to Drug Overdose
Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham. YouTube

Related: Demi Lovato, Khloe Kardashian and More Stars Who’ve Hit Back Against Body-Shamers

Now, as she moves forward with her career, Lovato is prioritizing her mental health. “I made a choice going into this next album, like, all right, when I present this, I’m not going to worry what I look like, you know?” she said on Tuesday’s podcast episode. “I’m not going to worry about looking a certain way or fit a certain mold or whatever. Like, that’s just not who I am. Someone needs to stand up to people who don’t naturally look that way.”

She went on: “I had to work my ass off every day in the gym, six days a week, to, like, maintain that figure. And it’s just like … That led me only one way. And I don’t want to go down that path again. So I’m not willing to destroy my mental health to look a certain way anymore.”

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