Demi Lovato Opens Up On Mental Health: "I Thought I'd Be Dead By 21"

28 June 2016, 15:49 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Demi Lovato Asset
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

How Demi's Drug and mental health problems almost killed her.

Demi Lovato isn't your typical pop star. Sure, she cut her teeth on the Disney channel, once counted Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift as pals, and dated a Jonas Brother, but her journey has been anything but conventional. 

In her latest interview with American Way, Demi breaks down some of her struggles from substance abuse to mental health issues and dangerous bulimia problems. 

Lovato began self-medicating with alcohol, cocaine and OxyContin. “I lived fast and I was going to die young,” she says. When asked whether she thought she’d be alive at 40, she seems taken aback. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”

American Way Magazine on Demi Lovato

A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) onJun 24, 2016 at 6:00pm PDT

In the extensive profile, Demi talks at length about her father's schizophrenia, her own bi polar diagnosis, her drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia, as well as the very real possibility that she could have found herself in an early grave.

One of the biggest criticisms people have about Demi Lovato is how much she shares--how open she is with her personal struggles. But her recent over share is very important. 

Lovato says her grandmother suffered from bulimia, as did her mother, and so did she. Statistics on the disorder say that 4.7 million women in the U.S will experience symptoms of bulimia in their lifetime. Stats on alcoholism in the U.S. are similarly shocking, with Newsweek reporting that 30% of Americans will face alcohol abuse issues in their lifetime

Despite the widespread nature of Demi's struggles, people still rarely get on the cover of glamorous magazines and admit both their parents had mental health issues. The truth is that mental health problems aren't glamorous. They're isolating and can lead to other life threatening behaviour--like Demi's brush with cocaine and prescription drugs. 


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The truth is, when pop stars speak out about their mental health or physical struggles, they tend to get a lot of flack from the public. Take Halsey, for example, who has been open about her sexuality and bi polar disorder for months and received every negative reaction under the sun. 

When someone like Demi Lovato says that what became of her mental health struggles almost cut her life short, its a very stark reminder that normalizing an open dialogue on the issue could literally save someone's life. 


A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) onApr 19, 2016 at 3:12pm PDT