A few years ago, Demi Lovato entered a treatment facility for what was then described vaguely as "physical and emotional issues." Lovato later acknowledged having suffered from bulimia, self-injury, and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. She said that she'd "basically had a nervous breakdown" and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder during her treatment. She's talked about being bullied as a teenager, and now she's opening up about the trauma she experienced when she was even younger -- starting with suicidal feelings Lovato experienced when she was just 7 years old.
It's quite the revelation, especially when you consider the dark lyrics to her new song "Warrior." I have enormous respect for her honesty -- but judging from some of the public comments about her latest interview, some folks are going to be all too happy to use her own confessions to tear her down.
In the August issue of Cosmopolitan, Lovato talks about her first childhood gig with Barney & Friends, and how despite appearances, she was struggling at the time:
Looking back, there was a connection, probably between any kid who's ever sang that song to Barney, a little place in a child's heart, a void, that could be filled. And maybe Barney fills it. Even before Barney, I was suicidal. I was 7.
I guess subliminally, I did have a relationship with this figure that was saving my life in a way. I've talked about being bullied and the years of being a teenager, but I went through things when I was younger that I've never talked about that probably caused me to turn out the way I ended up turning out.
Lovato also touches on the (sadly all-too-obvious) meaning behind her song "Warrior," which includes these lyrics: "This is a story that I have never told / I gotta get this off my chest to let it go / I need to take back the light inside you stole (...) There's a part of me I can't get back / A little girl grew up too fast / All it took was once, I'll never be the same / Now I'm taking back my life today."
My family knows what it's about. When I'm ready to open up that subject with the outside world, then I'll be free to talk about it. But right now, it's kind of one of those things where the lyrics speak for me. It's all in the song.
Demi Lovato has clearly been dealing with a LOT of painful issues over the years, and I suspect that being as open and honest as possible is a big part of her recovery. It seems crazy to me that anyone could criticize her decisions to share her own personal story, but that's exactly what's happening now:
When she first started talking about her issues years ago, I really admired her bravery. But now she's just beating down a dead horse.
It's hip to be abused! She forgot attention addict. This is how irrelevant "celebs" stay in the spotlight.
She seems to be immersed in self pity. Enough already. We all have problems but we suck it up and get on with our lives.
Ah, the crazy world of celebrity worship, where you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. If Demi Lovato was burying her pain in drugs and alcohol, she'd be jeered at for being a trainwreck. If she hinted at her troubles but never mentioned them again, she'd be criticized for not being a role model.
Here's a young woman, not even 21 years old, who may be helping thousands of people by going public with these taboo topics, and she's accused of being a famewhore? You know, I'm pretty sure "SUICIDAL AT 7 OMFG!!!" isn't Demi Lovato's dream come true in terms of headlines. I think she talks about this stuff because it helps her, and it helps others -- and I hope she's able to ignore the backlash and hold her head high, because she deserves major kudos for being braver than most people twice her age.
What do you think about Demi Lovato's latest revelations? Do you think she's courageous for being open about her life, or do you think she should stop?
Image via Demi Lovato