Demi Lovato Reveals Why She Went to Rehab

April 20, 2011
Disney star Demi Lovato has opened up about her recent spell in rehab and revealed everything from her battle with anorexia, hitting her back-up dancer and harming herself.

The 18-year-old actress and singer sat down with 20/20 and told interviewer Robin Roberts that she’s battled anorexia and bulimia since age eight. The disease finally caught up with her last summer while supporting the Jonas Brothers on their international tour. She told Roberts, “I was performing concerts on an empty stomach. I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating.

The turning point that led to rehab occurred when Lovato hit back-up dancer Alex Welch. Demi admits striking Welch and takes “100 percent, full responsibility” for hurting her “friend,” telling Roberts, “I feel horrible” After this her parents and managers staged an intervention and Lovato spent three months at the Timberline Knolls treatment center in Illinois.

The biggest revelation in the interview is Lovato frank discussion about her battle with cutting which began at age 11. She says, “It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body. I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn't know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself.”

Demi is set to leave her hit tween show Sonny with a Chance and focus her attentions on her music career.

Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images