By Draco Malfoy,
Demi Lovato, best known for being a Disney star and part of the Camp Rock films, began her acting career at age seven. Besides being an actress she has a successful singing career. In an interview with Ellen Degeneres Demi talked about her experiences with bullying in the 7th grade after becoming a target of a "hate petition." Demi says of this time, "I went through a really hard time at school with girls bullying me. I blamed it on myself at the time, but looking back I guess it was out of jealousy." The bullying seems to have been the catalyst leading to her problems with self-injury and an eating disorder. It got to the point that she, in frustration, asked her mother to have her home-schooled and, by the next week, they were out buying home-schooling materials.
Demi has been outspoken against bullying and created a famous Youtube video, Standing Up Against Bullying.
In People in September 2010 she shared about her issues with body image. She told People that she has a tattoo that says, "You make me beautiful." She also shared that she has "fat days" and wants to feel more comfortable and confident.
On November 1, 2010, Demi entered inpatient treatment for what was said to be an eating disorder and self-injury, according to People. In late January, 2011 she left treatment and made herself pretty scarce to her fans.
In March 7, 2011 Demi created a video thanking her fans for their support. In the video she said, "Hey guys, it's me, Demi. I wanted to send you guys a message 'cause I know that you've seen me out and about and I wanted to let you know that I am back and home. Welcome to my home. But I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the support that you've given me along the way." About the support the received and her personal experienced she also said, "I read [all your support] and your support is what got me through this. So I couldn't be more thankful for everything you guys sent me. The journey that I've been on has been very, very difficult over the past few months. I was dealing with issues that I know not only girls just my age but girls of all ages are dealing with. I hope to one day raise awareness of everything, so that I can help people too, just like you guys helped me through this rough time.
I can't tell you how much light you brought into my life in probably the darkest time of my life," she continued. "Without you guys I wouldn't be here today."
Until then it was mostly paparazzi-taken pictures of self-injury scars/wounds and "close sources," not Demi herself. Now she's putting her life back together and getting back to work.
On April 19, 2011 Demi opened up in an ABC News interview. She revealed that she had had an unhealthy relationship with food since she was young, beginning with compulsive overeating at eight years old. The bullying during her early teens turned the overeating into bulimia, which alternated with severe restricting. "I developed an eating disorder, and that's kind of what I've been dealing with ever since," she said. Her family was aware of her issues with the eating disorder from early on but unaware that she had, at age eleven, begun cutting her wrists as a way to cope with her feelings.
"It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body," she told ABC News. "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."
Demi self-injured throughout her teens but it didn't come to a head until the summer of 2011 when she was doing the concert tour with the Jonas Brothers for "Camp Rock 2". She lost control and hit one of the backup dancers. Demi says she had been losing her voice because of purging, had been performing concerts on an empty stomach, was self-medicating, and not taking her medication. Her family and management team held an intervention and she quit the tour and went to a treatment center for women with eating disorders and addiction issues.
Demi says treatment changed her life and that she relearned how to feel and picked up new, positive ways of coping. "The real reason why I'm sitting down with you," she said in the interview, "is to open up the eyes of so many young girls, that it doesn't have to be this way."