Demi Lovato says ‘I didn’t think I’d make it to 21’ as she discusses mental health issues

Former child star is now a mental health advocate

Demi Lovato has revealed she thought she was destined for an early death as she had undiagnosed mental health problems when she was a teenager.

Lovato is now a mental health campaigner, having been thrust into the limelight as a child star appearing on shows such as Barney And Friends from a young age.

Also a singer whose hits include ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Cool For The Summer’, Lovato was a regular contestant in child beauty pageants. She told American Way: “My body image awareness started way before the pageants. But I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being onstage and judged for my beauty.”

Lovato’s engineer father Patrick has bi-polar disorder and her ex-cheerleader mother Dianna was bulimic. Lovato said: “Being around somebody who had an active eating disorder and weighted 80lbs, it’s hard not to grow up like that.”

The singer began self-harming and binge-eating aged nine and said she became addicted to cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs aged 15 when she starred in her own show Sonny With A Chance on The Disney Channel. Lovato said: “I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”

Lovato, whose most recent album was ‘Confident’ in 2015, said she tries to discuss mental health issues with her fans at meet-and-greets before her gigs. The 23-year-old said: “I can’t tell you the amount of times girls will show me their arms covered in cuts or scars. They tell me ‘You helped get me through this.’ Hearing these things gives my life new meaning.”