Speaking with Dr. Phil in an interview that aired Tuesday, the Grammy-nominated singer, 25, reflected back on her struggles and revealed her darkest days first came about as young as 7 years old.
“The very first time that I was suicidal was when I was 7, and I had this fascination with death,” Lovato said. “I have experienced things that I’ve not talked about and that I don’t know if I ever will talk about. But at 7, I knew that if I were to take my own life that the pain would end.”
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 18 and bullied at age 12, Lovato turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the demons in her life.
“My addiction with drugs and alcohol was very severe to where I had several scares, and I knew that at the rate I was using and drinking, I wasn’t going to live a long life. I used very fast, very hard,” she said.
But by sharing her trials and tribulations, Lovato hopes to inspire her fans and followers to seek help.
“If I could tell anybody that’s thinking about taking their own life, is to reach out to people. Don’t hold it inside — don’t isolate. Reach out to people, whether it’s close friends, family,” she advised. “If you feel like you don’t have anybody, look within yourself and try to find that resilience that will ultimately get you through whatever it is you’re going through. Every single person on this planet is worth life.”
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The Dr. Phil interview aired days after the Disney Channel alum broke down in tears during her Brooklyn concert when talking about her sober birthday on Friday.
“Yesterday was a really big day for me. Yesterday, six years ago, I was drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle at nine in the morning, throwing up in the car and I just remember thinking, ‘This is no longer cute. This is no longer fun. And I’m just like my dad,’ ” Lovato told concertgoers.
Her biological father, Patrick Lovato, whom Demi had a strained relationship with, died in June 2013 after years of alcohol and substance abuse.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).