Demi Lovato is one of the biggest names in pop music today, with an acting and singing career that has spanned over two decades. At just 28 years old, Demi spent a majority of her childhood and teenage years in the spotlight. Her personal struggles, which include drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and family trouble, have been a big theme in her life. Demi recently released a 4-part YouTube miniseries, called, Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil, where she got candid about her various struggles, which included a nearly fatal overdose in 2018. While Demi now seems to be in a very balanced place emotionally and mentally, she is devoted to raising mental health awareness, and has come clean about some of the struggles that she experienced growing up in the spotlight. Her voice is a powerful one, and is inspirational to young women who feel they have to reach certain standards of beauty, fame, and success in order to be acceptable.
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The Negative Side Of Childhood Fame
While Demi is certainly not the first pop star to bring up the conversation about the negative aspects of childhood fame, she is using her voice to try and raise awareness and help other young people from suffering through similar struggles. Demi got her acting debut in 2002, when she was cast as Angela on the popular children’s show, Barney & Friends, when she was just 10 years old. She went on to have several roles on The Disney Channel, at which point she began to be scrutinized by the media. According to Wikipedia, Entertainment Weekly correspondent Gillian Flynn commented that Lovato’s acting skills were ‘underwhelming’. When she released her debut studio album, Don’t Forget, Entertainment Weekly again criticized her publicly, this time when Michael Slazak said, “Demi Lovato might satisfy her ‘tween fans but she won’t be winning any rockers over with Don’t Forget“. Dealing with this type of constant criticism at such a young age had long-term effects on Demi.
Harsh Teenage Years
While she was dealing with the struggles of finding her footing in the entertainment industry, Demi was also struggling with some very difficult traumas. As a teenager, she was raped by a person she trusted; an event that left a lasting shadow in her life, according to Huff Post. Demi opened up about this traumatic event in her docuseries, explaining that it robbed her of confidence, and led to her bingeing and purging so often that she would vomit blood. Her eating disorder was just one of the unhealthy ways she tried to cope with a very traumatic experience; Demi also started to abuse drugs and alcohol at a very young age. Though she visited rehab and was sober for 6 years, she had a very serious and near fatal overdose in 2018, which led her to seek additional help and treatment.
Overdose In 2018
In the summer of 2018, Demi was rushed to the hospital after she was found unresponsive after ingesting opioids in her Los Angeles home. Demi explained that the constant monitoring of her (then) management team had resulted in her having a bulimic relapse earlier in the year. With so much focus on what she was and was not allowed to eat, Demi entered a very dark period of her life, which ultimately resulted in her breaking her sobriety, and overdosing on oxycodone which was laced with fentanyl. Demi talks about the overdose in her docuseries, and explains that she was also victimized by the drug dealer who provided the opioids.
A New Start
A post shared by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato)
While Demi certainly has experienced a lot of trauma in her life, she is focused on her mental wellness and her ability to share her story with other people. Speaking out about her deepest struggles has allowed her to authentically claim her voice, while healing some of her past false core beliefs about her worth and value in the world. Being able to set the record straight about who was involved in the near-deadly overdose, who victimized her, and who she considers true and loyal friends were all part of Demi’s drive to make this documentary. Though she had a near-fatal overdose and has a history of addiction problems, Demi is not entirely sober in the aftermath of her overdose. She explains in her documentary that she is ‘California sober’, a term given to people who generally steer clear of hard drugs, but occasionally drink alcohol and smoke marijuana.
SOURCES: IMDb, Wikipedia, Huff Post
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