Demi Lovato Opened Up About the Misconceptions Surrounding Her Addiction

She described her addiction as a "destructive coping mechanism."

Warning: This article contains conversations pertaining to self harm and addiction.

Ahead of the March 23rd premiere of her YouTube documentary Dancing With the Devil, Demi Lovato talked mental health with Diane Guerrero for a recent episode of Guerrero’s podcast, Yeah No, I’m Not Okay. Lovato specifically wanted to clear up any misconception listeners may have about why addiction is a thing in the first place.

According to Lovato, per Entertainment Tonight, many believe that “if people are using drugs or if they are dealing with an eating disorder or self-harm that they want to die,” but in several ways, her addiction actually saved her from suicidal thoughts.

“In the same way it almost killed me, it saved my life at times, because there were times that I dealt with suicidal ideations,” Lovato told Guerrero, describing her addiction as a “destructive coping mechanism.” She continued, “I turned to those coping mechanisms because I genuinely was in so much pain that I didn’t want to die and I didn’t know what else to do.”

Lovato has since learned, through therapy and treatment, that drugs and alcohol are not the only coping mechanisms available to those in pain. I know how else to deal and how else to cope so I don’t have to resort to those behaviors again, she said.

By continuing to be open and honest about her past struggles and admitting that she’s not okay when she isn’t, Lovato hopes to break down the idea of a perfect Hollywood idol.

“I’ve tried on many identities over the years,” she told Guerrero. “The sexy feminine pop star that I felt like people wanted me to be or the poster child for recovery. And now I’m embracing the fact that my lack of commitment to any one identity isn’t a lack of commitment. It’s just an openness to continue to evolve.”

Fans, followers, and allies will learn more about her history with addiction and how she overcame her dependency (and saved her own life) when her documentary debuts on March 23rd.

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