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Demi Lovato Talks Mental Illness, Addiction and Recovery

LOS ANGELES - OCT 12:  Demi Lovato  at the 2010 American Music AThese days, life is pretty great for Demi Lovato. Having had a very early start in Hollywood as a regular on the children’s show, Barney and Friends, continuing through her stint as a star on the Disney Channel, she’s had a lengthy career for someone so young but, unfortunately, it’s been anything but easy. In fact, Lovato’s life seemed ready to implode back in 2010.

At just 18 years old, the performer was battling an eating disorder and substance abuse. Her behavior grew increasingly erratic and there were reports of people not wanting to work with her. She credits her manager, Phil McIntyre, with saving her life. After managing her since she was just 15 years old, McIntyre recognized that she had a problem and began to offer guidance.

On Instagram, Lovato wrote of his actions: “When so many others had given up on me, he never did. He told me he cared too much about me to watch me self-destruct.. Therefore at the very end of my drinking and using he gave me one last chance.. Get sober and he’ll stay, or he’d have to leave… [McIntyre] stood his ground and said, ‘If you do this I will fight this battle with you every step of the way.’ I knew I couldn’t let go of him not only as a manager but as an extremely important person in my life who genuinely cares about me. He is one of the very few people who LITERALLY saved. my. life. I don’t think I’d be alive without him for many different reasons.”

We should all be so lucky to have someone so committed and supportive in our lives. It seems that his approach worked because Lovato checked into rehab and recently celebrated three years of sobriety this past March.View gallery

Since leaving rehab, she young star has been very open about her struggles with mental illness and addiction and has announced her involvement in the Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health campaign. The initiative aims to help raise awareness while removing the stigma attached to mental illness. The effort clearly resonates with Lovato on a personal level.

She explained: “it’s] very important to me because I have struggled with bipolar disorder for several years now. Also my father had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well, and I watched him live a very unfortunate life because of the lack of access to treatment. So it’s very personal to me. I just think mental illness is something people need to learn more about and the stigma needs to be taken away from. There’s so many different ways you can help. I think together as a country we have to step up and we have to do something about this issue that is becoming quite an epidemic.”

After such a dark time, how are things for Lovato today?  She says that she’s “living well with [her] mental illness” and “couldn’t be happier today.” Anyone observing from the outside would have to admit that things do look fantastic. She seems very happy in her relationship with actor, Wilmer Valderrama, whom she credits for helping her through dark times. Lovato also announced that she has teamed up with Nick Jonas and their shared manager, Phil McIntyre, to launch their own record label, Safehouse Records!

After things so incredibly dismal for Demi Lovato just a few short years ago, it’s incredible to see how much the outlook has improved. She’s a great example of how much a good attitude, the right support and professional treatment can make a difference! Experiencing mental illness does not have to be a death sentence. We can all learn to live better lives!

Demi Lovato Talks Mental Illness, Addiction and Recovery

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Demi Lovato Talks Mental Illness, Addiction and Recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 May 2015
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