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Demi Lovato: Road to Recovery

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Mikaela Coskren

on 28 April 2015

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Transcript of Demi Lovato: Road to Recovery

More Than Meets the Eye....
Behind Closed Doors
From a very young age, Demi had been stuggling with body-image issues and depression because of it.

Demi was also severely bullied in school. Classmates called her "fat and ugly", and they sent a petition around the whole school that said "I hate Demi Lovato" and everyone signed it. Everyone she once had considered her friend turned on her and she was so traumatized that she eventually left public school and started homeschooling

The bullying combinded with her natural born insecurities was the trigger that set off her immense self-loathing and caused her to develop an eating disorder (Anorexia- Binge Purge Type) and practice self-mutilation, both at just age 11.
Demi Lovato: Road to Recovery
A deeper look into Demi's lifelong battle with an ED and other issues, as well as the factors that led her down this dangerous road
By: Mikaela Coskren
-Demi was born Demetria Devonne Lovato on August 20th, 1992 in Albuquerque, NM and had spent much of her childhood dreaming of becoming a singer

- When she was 7, she got her break into the business on Barney and Friends

-By the time she was 14, she scored the leading role in Disney Channel's hit movie "Camp Rock", and suddenly she was in the center of the spotlight.
By the time Demi was 15, she was a Disney princess with 2 Camp Rock movies and her own show called "Sonny With a Chance", she was touring with the Jonas Brothers, and was at the height of her career, but little did everyone know that she was hiding a whole other life behind closed doors.
The Breaking Point
Towards the end of 2010, Demi was the worst she had ever been.
-eating only 2-3 meals per week
-purging up to 6 times a day even when there was barely anything in her system
-was slowly losing her power-house voice from purging
-her cutting moved from her wrists to other parts of her body because the media had caught her
- was going through randomized periods of grandiose and periods of depression

Everything changed when she hit one of her close friends who was a backup dancer for her on tour during a manic episode. Demi's family sat her down directly after and said she had to go to treatment.
Downward Spiraling
Being under the pressures of Hollowood and constantly in the public eye, Demi's internal problems went from bad to worse.

She felt that Hollywood put pressure on people in the spotlight to look a certain way and to be thin, and that it was very difficult to deal with that pressure.

Not only did her ED and cutting get worse because of constantly seeing negative comments about her weight and apprearance, but she started to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol.

Demi felt so much guilt and shame for being a supposed "role model" for young girls because she was out partying often and was struggling with so many issues under wraps that the pressure escalated even more
Taking Initiative

On November 1st, 2010, Demi checked into Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center in Chicago, Illanois, where she stayed for 3 months
A New Life
On January 28th, 2011, Demi was released from Timberline Knolls as a new and improved version of herself

Since completing her stay, Demi has been slowly rebuilding her life in L.A. living in a sober living community house, while also continuing to work with a therapist and a nutritionist.

Not only has Demi made it a priority to stay on track to a full recovery, but she has also made it her life mission to help other young girls struggling with any of the things she had experienced.

"I chose to share my story with the world because I realized that if I’m vocal about getting help and sharing my story with others then maybe someone else will find the courage to get help too. Pretending like nothing ever happened after I got out of treatment wouldn’t do any good for anyone. When I was a kid, I needed someone to tell me that I'm not alone and things will get better and that I'm beautiful the way I am. I now want to be that person for everyone else.”
Post-Recovery: Difficult but Worth It
Demi explains that she is dedicating her life to her recovery and working at every day. She admits that she has had setbacks and she is not perfect, but she is trying the best she can.

"There are days when I don’t think I can make it. An addiction is an addiction and you’re gonna deal with it for the rest of your life. I can’t tell you that I haven’t thrown up since treatment. I can’t tell you that I haven’t cut myself since treatment. This is a daily battle that I will face for the rest of my life.”

"I don’t think I’m completely fixed, but I'm getting there. People think you’re like a car in a body shop…you go in, they fix you, and your out and you work like brand new; but it doesn’t work like that. It takes constant fixing every day.”
What Keeps her Sane
Demi is obviously known for her vocals and music which is what gets her through the day when times are tough

She describes writing and recording as "therapeutic" and it makes her feel so much better knowing that she is now able to help not only herself by getting her emotions out but also help so many others who are listening and relating to her lyrics

In her new song "Warrior", she talks very openly about her past experiences and how she is moving on and coming out stronger with lyrics like "Now I'm a warrior, now I've got thicker skin, now I'm a warrior, I'm stronger than I've ever been."

-Other emotional songs include Skyscraper, Fix a Heart, I Hate You Don't Leave Me, For the Love of a Daughter, Shouldn't Come Back, etc.
Promoting Curves and Health
Not only does Demi speak openly to interviewers and in her music about her past experiences and her recovery, but she goes above and beyond to make sure that girls everywhere know that they are beautiful the way they are
"@ddlovato: I could run 7 miles a day and not eat anything and have the same body that I used to have, but I’m not gonna do that to myself because I love myself now. Some days it’s hard and I don’t, but I do my best and I try to. I am beautiful and so are all of you.”
1-Day Mentor

Demi couldn't even admit that she had a problem until she got to treatment when she realized that she couldn't even finish a meal and that it was mentally difficult for her to not harm herself

While in treatment, Demi was also diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, which is defined as "at least 1+ mood alterations between a hypomanic state and major depressive state". Demi was "relieved" to find out that there was a medical diagnosis or something bigger than herself to explain some of her abnormal behaviors and feelings.
(Demi's biological father suffered from severe mental illness for the greater part of his life as well)

Every day in treatment, Demi was dedicated to rebuilding her self-image and self-esteem so that she wouldn't feel the need to continue her ED or practice self-harm any longer. She also learned how to manage her schedule and surround herself with only people that genuinely cared about her so that her stress level was lower and was able to have constant support.
Healthy Living
Today, Demi still works hard at her recovery every single day and is living healthily and happily

She is having much success with her newly released 4th album titled "Demi", as it is an album where she opens up and is very honest more than ever before

Demi is also going onto her 2nd season of the hit show "The X Factor" as a judge

For her 21st birthday, instead of taking her first legal sip of alcohol at a club or a bar, she will be in Africa with her family to take part in charity work. She is fully embracing a sober lifestyle in all possible ways.
What to take away from Demi's story....
For Demi, things happened in a chain reaction...

- born with mental illness/intensive insecurities
-self harm
-media attention & pressure to be perfect
= heightened ED, self-harm, depression, and bipolar symptoms

*Important to see pattern to understand comorbidity and how one thing led to why the next thing happened
Understanding Cause and Effect
-Bullying is unfortunately very common problem especially in middle/high schools
-Kids in school or even family members can say things to put other people down, often because they are insecure themselves and want to boost themselves up
-Bullying and negative comments lower one's self esteem and makes them feel worthless
-When kids are relentlessly bullied, it can cause them to do drastic things such as develop eating disorders, self-mutilation, depression, and in some cases it can lead to suicide.
-Demi was severely bullied in school and it led to ALL of those things. She was suicidal at age 7.
-People were telling her that she was fat and not good enough, so she developed an eating disorder to try to please people so that they would stop harassing her and also because their words had made her feel so poorly about herself that she wanted to be thinner
-She says that she wished that they would have just hit her and been done with it instead of saying hurtful things because some of the things that were said to her haunt her to this day
Understanding Cause and Effect
"Cultural Thinness":
We live in a media obsessed world where we are constantly and consistantly exposed to media where we see thin, attractive figures everywhere we go. A lot of times people percieve Hollywood to be real life and it's important to know that IT'S NOT. Hollywood is a world of unrealistic images, photoshop, and clothes/make up/glamour that are used for business purposes. It is not a realistic depiction of what people should and do look like. It's OKAY to have curves and full-figured body. It is feminine and sexy, not obese.
-Demi said that Hollywood not only puts pressure on society to look a certain way, but it puts pressure on the people in it to uphold that standard

By sending out such a positive message in so many different ways, she makes it very clear to her fans and people in general that you are BEAUTIFUL just the way you are and it's important to love yourself instead of focusing on the negative. She completely inspires people to be who they are and to be proud of it.
How this relates to me.....
Media's Affect on Girls
-Today, media is more popular and the most advanced it has ever been and comes in so many different forms, making it easy for people to be connected to it one way or another at all times
-Recent study showed that kids are exposed to up to 7 hours per day consuming media
-Most of Hollywood is much thinner than normal women, but with increasingly growing media exposure, it becomes what these kids think is considered "normal".
-People look up to the media, so when they don't look like the media (by looking completely normal), they consider themselves fat.
-1 out of 4 students are bullied mainly in their middle-high school years
-60% is related to appearance/body size
-Bullying can happen at school, at home, or over the internet
-Survey showed that 80% of female respondents felt that women in movies and television programs made them feel insecure about their bodies.
- 50% ED & depression
-25% ED & self-harm
- 14% ED & Bipolar Disorder
- 11-13% ED& OCD
- 35% ED % Alcohol/Substance Abuse
Full transcript