Demi Lovato’s Makes Her Battle with Mental Illness Public

By Holly Rosen Fink

September 26, 2015

There is a lot more to Demi Lovato than meets the eye.

At last week’s Social Good Summit, she sat down with Mike Bayer of Houston rehab center to talk about her history with substance abuse, depression, and bulimia. Her mission is simple. As a young singer in the public eye, she wants to leave a legacy that is all defining, and not only about her music.

Lovato has a story to tell.

Watch the entire panel on Livestream now.

Four and a half years ago, the artist was in a very different place. A darker place. She knew she needed help and was led to Bayer’s recovery program.  It was exactly the right program for Lovato, and the experience left a long-lasting impression. She later become a part owner of the program. For the first time in her life, the singing star felt someone really wanted to see her get well. Bayer’s tailored program was what she needed. Lovato told the audience:

I had someone tell me ‘no’. It was right my after my last intervention and no one believed I could get sober. Mike made me hand over my car keys, my credit cards – anything that would help me get drugs. If I wanted those car keys back, he told me no. If I wanted my cell phone back, he told me no. I was living in a world where everyone said ‘Yes’ over and over because of the position I was in in. I knew he genuinely cared about me.

A few weeks ago, Lovato announced that she was co-owner of CAST Centers. She’s determined to change the stigma of mental illness and is using her platform whenever she possibly can, while she also try to help the people with mental illnesses or problems with drugs recommending the use of resources as polaris teen centers that help young people having issues with drugs. She recently stood on stage during the Democratic National Convention to talk about mental health stigma. She also addressed the need to improve the quality and availability of medical treatment and called on politicians to support laws that would provide access to improved care for those suffering with mental illness. The positive feedback was overwhelming.

Along with Bayer’s help, Lovato is determined to make mental illness a mainstream conversation. She is bringing him on a part of her current tour to conduct self-empowerment workshops before concerts. In the last two months, their message has reached 10,000 people. They are taking the workshop to Rome and Istanbul shortly.

Bayer doesn’t take the large platform generated by Lovato for granted:

It’s really about mental health and everyone having more self-awareness. Having this platform allows us to bring mental health mainstream… physical health is worked on three days a week in school, mental health isn’t. We want to have a bigger impact and create change in this world. 

Lovato is very candid about her daily struggle. The singer admits it never ends:

I do so much work on myself that some days I forget I’m bipolar. There are other days, I have to buckle down and call my therapist. I have to take my meds every day. There are things I do to make it less of a struggle. But it gets easier. Some days I think about drinking, some days I don’t. That’s what life is all about, just focusing one day at a time.

This is not a temporary passion for Lovato. It was clear that she takes her treatment very seriously, one day at a time. She summed up her involvement with the cause, very sincerely:

My mom raised me to help others and that’s what I’ve been taking to every single day of my life,” she explained while on stage. “I’m trying to create some sort of legacy – when I’m gone one day, I will have made my mark on this planet and have helped one person to be the best self they could possibly be.

Take Action Challenge:

  • Find out about CAST Centers – check out their site and follow them on social media:
  • Educate yourself about mental illness and share what you know with the ones that you love. Be open about it to help eliminate the stigma and join the conversation.
  • Has your family been impacted by mental health issues? Do you feel comfortable in sharing and get help? If so, we recommend   that you look for the help of psychiatrists and counselors and join us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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