Demi Lovato has become the face of a new campaign to raise mental health awareness. After struggling with issues ranging from addiction to bipolar disorder to bulimia, Demi is determined to help others understand what is involved in such battles, reported E! News.
Although she is only 22, Lovato has sought to recover from both alcohol and drug addiction as well as manage her bipolar disorder and eating disorder for many years.
As the new celebrity spokesperson for the “Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health” campaign, Lovato recognizes that she’s taking a risk in opening up. But the singer emphasizes that by daring to expose her innermost struggles, she hopes that she can help more people.
“I’ve been very open about my story just because that the more honest and open I am, the more people that I’m gonna be able to reach. Mental illnesses, in general, are…not talked about as much as they should,” she said.
Demi makes a point of declaring that mental health issues, whether addiction or bipolar, are not a personal choice.
“I wish that more people could understand from a point where it’s not a choice to have an addiction. And with bipolar disorder, it’s a chemical imbalance and it’s something that you have to figure out your own treatment with your own team and in order to do that, it takes time.”
In addition, Lovato wants to share a message of hope.
“And finally, I’m in a great place where I can say that recovery is possible,” she added.
For Demi, it’s been a long road to that “great place.” When she was 18, Lovato entered rehab for what she then termed “emotional and physical” concerns. But two years later, the singer opened up.
“I’m not going to lie. I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using [drugs], like a lot of teens do to numb their pain.”
March marked Demi’s three-year sobriety anniversary. Now she feels that in addition to singing, her goal in life is to share her knowledge about mental health, reported MSN.
In opening up about her past for “Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health,” Lovato has joined an initiative spearheaded by mental health advocates, a pharmaceutical company, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The campaign has two goals: Improve treatment options and end the shame that surrounds mental illnesses.
“It’s not something that anyone should be ashamed of. The more people talk about it, the more people can come out and get the help they need.”
As the Inquisitr reported, Demi joins Lady Gaga and Portia de Rossi in discussing her eating disorder battles. All three also suffered from bullying.
But now, Lovato emphasizes, she is focused on recovery.
“My eating disorder will continue to affect me for the rest of my life, but I’m proud to say that I got the help I needed, and am now the happiest and healthiest I have ever been!” she declared.
As part of her new focus on health, Demi is teaming up with Nick Jonas and their manager Phil McIntyre to start Safehouse Records, reported Entertainment Weekly.
“I’ve worked closely with both Nick and Phil for years and we share the same point of view when it comes to making music,” said Lovato. “It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this new company where I’m in control of all aspects of my career. I can’t wait to share what we’re working on!”
[Image Via Be Vocal Mental Health Campaign]