ARTICLE: Demi Lovato champions mental health and eating disorders

Demi Lovato champions mental health and eating disorders

The young, beautiful and mega talented Demi Lovato, became a mental health champion in my eyes when she openly discussed her bulimia, bipolar and self-harm, the disorders for which she received treatment in November last year.

She has once more won the admiration of Mental Healthy with her realistic, honest and heartfelt depiction of her condition now. Demi openly admits she is not “fully recovered”, instead she says:

“This is an ongoing process and the hardest part about these diseases is that they’re things that I’m going to have to face every day for the rest of my life. I’m going to mess up and I’m not going to be perfect, but as long as I try everyday to get better and better myself, then I’m one step ahead of where I was before.”

The reason I think this statement is so poignant is this: so many stars these days talk about anxiety, depression and addiction, they enter rehab as if it’s the ‘celeb thing to do’. In reality these disorders don’t simply disappear when the media story becomes chip paper. These disorders must be lived with and managed long term.

In January this year Demi told Robin Roberts of Good morning America that she had struggled with a “really unhealthy relationship with food” since age 8 after suffering bullying, and her self-mutilating behavior started at age 11 as a means to “cope with her emotions and depression”.

Miss Lovato told AOL Music that she had decided to be so open about her illness “Because I know that if I can use my voice to speak to one person, or one family, then I’ve done my part. I feel like it’s no coincidence that God put me through all of this and has also given me the voice that I have.”

The new revelation she shared about the ‘ongoing process’ shows once again her determination to use her position to help.

The image the media portrays regarding celebrity and mental illness is totally unrealistic. People don’t simply spend 7 days in rehab and the next week bring out their next album like nothing has happened – not in the real world anyway. This is what mental illness sufferers see, and it puts massive pressure on them to ‘just get better’ or ‘snap out of it’ when in reality they can’t.

Demi speaking like this clearly shows she has her head screwed on and is looking at her problems long term. This is a much more sure fire way of being able to live and work with such afflictions and to keep realistic expectations.

Skyscraper

Demi’s second top ten hit Skyscraper, out now, depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes and she is determined that this is just what she will do, saying “Music is something that keeps me healthy and that has saved my life at one point,’ ” she says. “I love it, and I’m not going to give it up.”

Well Demi we really wish you well and thank you for stepping out and being so frank, it gives hope for all of us that battle mental illness here in the real world.

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