Disney sweetheart Demi Lovato is opening up about cutting and body issues in very personal interview on 20/20 and Good Morning America this week.
Demi Lovato, who entered rehab this year to deal with her personal demons, is talking candidly about her struggles.
“I’ve spoken openly about being bullied throughout the past few years, but one thing that I’ve never been able to feel comfortable talking about was the effects that it had on my life, afterwards,” she said. “I literally didn’t know why they were being so mean to me. And when I would ask them why, they would just say, ‘Well, you’re fat.”
The bullying resulted in her binging and purging.
“I developed an eating disorder, and that’s kind of what I’ve been dealing with ever since,” she said.
Lovato said she has bulimia since she was only eight-years-old.
“I was compulsively overeating when I was eight years old,” Lovato stated. “So, I guess, for the past 10 years I’ve had a really unhealthy relationship with food.”
Her family found her professional help for her body image and eating disorder problems, but the singer hid a dark secret from her parents. Demi began cutting herself at age 11, slicing her wrists for a release from her pain.
“It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body,” Lovato revealed. “I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn’t know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself.”
All of Demi’s problems came to a head while touring with the Jonas Brothers for the musical, “Camp Rock 2.”
“I was performing concerts on an empty stomach,” she said. “I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression, and I literally was so emotionally whacked out that I took it out on someone that meant a lot to me.
Lovato admits she hit one of her backup dancers, Alex Welch. physically striking one of her backup dancers, Alex Welch, during the South American leg of their international tour.
“I take 100 percent, full responsibility.” Lovato admits. “I feel horrible. [She] was my friend.”
The singer and actress was confronted by her management and family, telling her she needed professional help.
“They sat me down and said, ‘You can’t live like this,'” Lovato said.
She checked in to Timberline Knolls in Illinois, a treatment center for women battling addiction and eating disorders.
“For the first time in my life, I started to feel,” she said.
You can watch Lovato’s story on April 22 at 10 p.m. on “20/20” and on “Good Morning America.”
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