Singer and actress Demi Lovato started performing professionally as a child. By age 10 the future Grammy nominee was a series regular on the children’s television program Barney & Friends
. By 12, says the performer, she’d already turned to drugs and alcohol
and had begun to develop an eating disorder. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: I’m living a nightmare!
“I think it was a plethora of things. I think that it had to do with growing up with an alcoholic father,
and my mom also struggled with some things. But, my father left my family and chose addiction and alcoholism over me. So, I felt this hole and this abandonment that I still feel to this day sometimes,” she reveals on Tuesday’s Dr. Phil.
Continuing she says, “And when I was bullied when I was 12, I was searching for something to numb me out, and to fit in. And I turned to alcohol, and that’s where I felt relief.”
The star claims she got made fun of for being on Barney
; but the thing she says really hurt her the most was having her best friends turn on her over what she calls “petty drama” that 12-year-olds have in the seventh grade. “And the reaction to it was so much more extreme than what was normal that they had a suicide
petition. And they passed it around the school and got people to sign it.” WATCH
: Demi Lovato On Contemplating Suicide At 7: ‘I Had This Fascination With Death’
Continuing she says, “I was cyberbullied, and they made fun of my weight. And it was at that moment where I decided that I was going to not eat anymore, and I turned to drugs and alcohol.”
Now 25, the entertainer says she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 18, “bottomed out” at 19, and then went into sober living for a year. Who does she say she credits with helping to save her life?
to find out where you can watch. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: At your final breaking point? ‘She Was Sleeping 16-Hour Days,’ Says Treatment Center CEO Of The First Time He Met Demi Lovato