(LONDON) — Demi Lovato shines on stage and on screen with a big smile and down home charm that catapulted her to stardom in her early teens, but the former Disney star’s life has recently been filled with challenges.
At 20-years-old, the singer and actress has battled depression and a stint in rehab. And in an interview with Fabulous, a British magazine, she talks about her experience with drugs and what happens behinds the scenes in Hollywood.
“Promoters gave me drugs and alcohol in restaurants or clubs,” she said in the interview. “They wanted me to come back so I would be seen there.”
While she wouldn’t give specifics about her downward spiral, she touched on how she felt.
“What I can say is that I was depressed,” she told the magazine. “I would come off stage in front of 18,000 people and suddenly be alone in a hotel room. I’d come crashing down and would try to find a way to recreate that feeling, to stay up.”
She also talked cutting herself, saying: “You do it because you feel so bad inside. You don’t know how to take it out other than on yourself.”
And Lovato, who has a history of being bullied, has also suffered an eating disorder. She told Fabulous that she isn’t over her body image issues, and said she wasn’t ready to start acting again.
“I need to be secure in my body before I go back in front of the camera,” she told Fabulous. “Anyone in recovery from an eating disorder would find that triggering, and I’m not ready.”
The story of drugs and Tinseltown’s brightest stars is not new. Many idols, especially those who were child stars, have been overcome by the destructive lifestyle.
For Lovato, an Albuquerque native, the pitfalls of such a life were too much.
“I thought I was having fun,” she said. “Being a celebrity can be dangerous. Nobody says ‘no’. That’s why so many end up overdosing and dying. It could definitely have happened to me.”
In 2010, Lovato checked into Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center. In an interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts last year, she talked about the experience.
“I guess my darkest period was going into treatment for that first 48 hours and not having any communication with the outside world,” she said.
After three months of in-patient treatment away from Hollywood, Lovato learned to manage her emotions.
“I’m learning how to cope with issues, and cope with urges, and things like that, in healthy ways,” she told Roberts.
“Like, I’ve picked up knitting. I like, who would ever thought that, like, I knit on a Saturday night, like. Watching TV. I totally do. I’m a knitter,” she said, laughing.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News
Kayla Nelson, Idaho State University Marketing and Communication