Demi Lovato Dispels Misconceptions About Drug Addiction and Her Own Struggles With Mental Health

Demi Lovato
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Setting the record straight. Demi Lovato is clearing up some questions or misconceptions about drug abuse and her own struggle with mental health and addiction.

The songstress recently joined Diane Guerrero during an episode of her podcast, Yeah No, I’m Not OKand she got candid about her past experiences with drugs and substance dependency.

According to Lovato, 28, many think that "if people are using drugs or if they are dealing with an eating disorder or self-harm that they want to die."

"In the same way it almost killed me, it saved my life at times, because there were times that I dealt with suicidal ideations," Lovato said, explaining how the addiction was a "destructive coping mechanism" that, despite being harmful, allowed her an avenue other than suicide.

Lovato said she has come to realize, "I turned to those coping mechanisms because I genuinely was in so much pain that I didn't want to die and I didn't know what else to do."

With treatment and help, Lovato has grown emotionally and come to understand how many different options exist when it comes to looking for and finding ways to deal with those sort of thoughts and compulsions.

"I know how else to deal and how else to cope so I don't have to resort to those behaviors again," Lovato shared. 

Lovato explained that she's decided to be open and honest about her own struggles with mental health and addiction so that others will know they aren't alone, and to dismantle the "facade for Hollywood" when it comes to putting celebrities on a pedestal that others feel they cannot live up to.

"I've tried on many identities over the years," she said. "The sexy feminine pop star that I felt like people wanted me to be or the poster child for recovery. And now I'm embracing the fact that my lack of commitment to any one identity isn't a lack of commitment. It's just an openness to continue to evolve."

Back in February -- during a panel discussion for her upcoming special Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil during the virtual Television Critics Association press tour -- Lovato revealed that, after her near-fatal overdose in 2018, she was left with brain damage and is still dealing with the aftermath to this day.

"I don't drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision," Lovato revealed. "For a long time, [I] had a really hard time reading. Reading was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was two months later because my vision was so blurry, I dealt with a lot of the repercussions and I think they are kind of still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again."

The "Sorry Not Sorry" singer added that she's "grateful for those reminders but I'm so grateful that I'm someone who didn't have to do a lot of rehabbing. The rehabbing came in the emotional side and the therapeutic side internally. I did a lot of work after that, just not physical."

Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil premieres March 23 on YouTube.


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