Demi Lovato is making the heart-breaking confession that she was left feeling depressed, suicidal and practicing self-harm after being relentlessly bullied by trolls.
The singer, who’s looking happier and healthier than ever these days, made the shocking confession when she joined Van Jones on his We Rise Against Hate Tour on August 15 where Lovato revealed why it’s so important for her to speak out against bullying.
Recalling that she was once verbally abused and harassed by bullies both online and via texts while on stage at the event in Nashville, Tennessee, Demi revealed that she’s all too familiar with the pain and sadness that bullying victims feel.
“It just hurts to see so much pain and suffering that people are having to deal with,” the talented singer said. “If you don’t use your voice, especially with the platform I have, you’re being a bystander. Bystanders are just as bad as the people causing this crisis.”
Demi then made the sad confession that she was driven to suicidal thoughts and self-harm by her bullies.
“I know what it’s like to be so depressed after being bullied that you have thoughts of suicide. I know what it’s like to harm yourself after that because you don’t feel like you fit in because of how mean people are being,” Lovato admitted of her own experiences with bullying. “When I had a platform to speak out against it, I wanted people to know that bullying’s not okay.”
Demi continued to discuss her battles during her appearance at the event before urging her fans to speak out against bullying on Instagram.
Sharing a photo of herself on stage with Jones, she thanked the host for allowing her to speak up and added in the caption, “Through equality and inclusiveness we can be the change we want to see in the world. Speak up, WE rise together! #LoveArmy.”
Lovato has been extremely candid about her horrific ordeal at the hands of bullies over the past few years and even became an ambassador for Secret’s “Mean Stinks” anti-bullying campaign in 2013. She headed to at least one school in New York to discuss the devastating impact bullying can have, particularly on young people.
Demi told People at the time that she experienced a very hard time during her middle school years and claimed that bullies would start hate petitions about her that they then spread around school and would even smash her CDs in front of her.
“They’d come to my house, stand across the street and yell things. It was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away,” Lovato said of her past experience with bullying.
But fortunately, it looks like Demi is doing much better today.
Lovato’s latest confessions about standing up to bullies come as the star told Entertainment Tonight this week that she’s learned to overcome the negative comments from others and has also now made the conscious decision to flat out ignore bullies and body shamers who try to bring her down.
She told the site that she actually doesn’t really have to deal with body shaming anymore because she no longer looks at the negative comments that often flood through on her social media pages. Lovato reportedly told a fan to watch their language after they called her a “fat w****” on Twitter earlier this year.
“I don’t pay attention to it,” the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer said of body shaming trolls who call her out. “I think the more attention you give it, the more power it has over you.”
“I focus on just what I see in the mirror and that’s a beautiful person,” continued Demi of her inspiring body confidence. “Regardless of what I think of my body that day, I know that nobody can take who I am away from me.”
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME]