It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Demi Lovato, and have been since as long as I can remember (back to the Camp Rock & Sonny With A Chance days). But when I heard she went into rehab for, at the time was told as, “physical and emotional issues,” I was taken aback. To hear of someone as young as her, given she’s a year older than me, in rehab AND in the spotlight wasn’t something that anyone had expected. And by that I mean she put on a very good front of appearing happy and put together. Which is something I know all too well.
After spending 2-3 months in rehab, Demi later went on to share her story of mental illness in a completely raw interview. She dug deep into the origins of her issues and shared exactly what she had gone through prior to and in rehab. This was something that was completely unheard of at the time. For me, anyways. I’d never heard of a celebrity being vocal about mental illness, eating disorders, self harming, and more. But this was a good thing for me, as it taught me more about mental illness and that it exists. It validated that sometimes we can’t always control how we feel and that it’s not necessarily your own fault. That was refreshing for me. Because I had been through so much heartache up to that point, and that was only the beginning for me.
I know I’ve talked about my mental illness many of times, but like Demi, I too have an eating disorder, bi-polar, and I used to self harm. When my psychiatrist was determining my actual diagnosis, which started out as depression, I had said to my Mom right from the beginning of it that I had bi-polar disorder. And after about a year without any changes which then became worse, my psychiatrist changed my medication to see if I had bi-polar. Turns out I was right; I was diagnosed with bi-polar and to this day, I still haven’t got a clue how I knew I did.
Throughout the entirety of my recovery, and even now, I remember always watching Demis interviews and reading magazines she was on the cover of to get a better idea of mental illness. I found that because I had already been a fan and knew her story, it may help me with mine. It of course helped in many ways that I’ll forever be grateful for.
Demi has now, since first sharing her story, started her own foundation, become a partner of the treatment centre where she was at, and become an even bigger advocate for those who have (a) mental illness(es).
The most important lesson I ever learned from her was to share your story, because you never know who’s out there that needs to hear it.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.