Demi Lovato: I was suicidal at seven
July 2nd, 2013
10:12 AM ET

Demi Lovato: I was suicidal at seven

Three years after seeking treatment for "emotional and physical issues," Demi Lovato has cultivated a new definition of what it means to be tough.

The 20-year-old singer and actress, who recently buried her estranged father, opens up in the August issue of Cosmopolitan about her new outlook and the struggles she still faces.

"If you're spending your entire early 20s chasing the next party, what are you running away from? That's not a bada**. What's a bada** is when you can sit through your problems and feel emotions when you don't want to have them."

Lovato has openly battled bulimia and self-harm, and she's documented her recovery in some of her music. Still, "there have been nights where I've had to sit on my hands, because I want to act out, because I physically can't sit still in the pain I'm dealing with, from looking back and being bullied or other things that happened," Lovato said. "And now, as hard as it may be, I will do that. That's what makes me a bada**. Being a bada** is handling your s***."

Lovato's troubles didn't begin with the infamous Jonas Brothers tour she bowed out of in 2010; rather, she tells Cosmopolitan, they stem all the way back to her childhood.

Now 20, Lovato can recall feeling suicidal at age 7, right around the time her career took off with her role on "Barney & Friends."

"At the time, I was just so grateful to be on TV, but I was also really struggling," she says. "Even before 'Barney,' I was suicidal. I was seven. With 'Barney,' I guess subliminally, I did have a relationship with this figure that was saving my life in a way ... I've talked about being bullied and the years of being a teenager, but I went through things when I was younger that I've never talked about that probably caused me to turn out the way I ended up turning out."

Although she's still facing painful experiences, she believes the suffering isn't in vain.

"I'm not super religious, but I grew up Christian and I believe in God," she tells Cosmo. "I just feel like God gave me a voice, not just to sing with. He put me through those things, which seemed horrible at the time, but they were so worth it. With the obstacles I've overcome, I can help people."

Filed under: Celebrities

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soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. 64 U

    Her part time job needs a tune up.

    July 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Good Christians/Bad Christians-- LA

    there are good Christians and there are full of sh-t Christians...I know the ones who are real and the ones who are full of sh-t and use it as manipulation for control....its sad stuff

    July 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Her Voice Sucks

    She has a crummy voice....I have given her a chance for a year now but her voice sucks.

    July 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lovaticforlife

      Dont hate.. Your just jealous cuz her voice is amazing. You probably sound like an injured pig.

      January 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 64IPU

    save the other bad news if she starts again

    July 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Print my comments...she's be getting authoritative shortly.


    July 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Demis not leaving the hollywood scene anytime the lot they told her they are happy she has as usual


    July 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Deme Madge only need 1 ip from cali--dat wuz it...but hey good try and no anger alot of yelling to nail you that was about it.


    July 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. My demi lovato comments pertain too 5 g account hack..thanks


    July 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 64ip..thank u mega path--CA


    July 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. That's why i have good "contacts" and you suck at being a gangstette...


    July 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nail you? I did already a year ago.


    July 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. He will never be able too go forward even with and FWB with her "habit"


    July 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Meh

    you attention craving dope...spare us and just do it then. I bet you dont have the guts.

    July 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Who Cares

    She is not a singer, can't sing-in-key Live and never could. Amazing what lies the media and PR hype can produce.

    July 9, 2013 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. If he wants me off the blogs fine..whatever will work best..end of story.

    July 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  16. 53rd all day and all night whatever he needs too know he will know.

    now let's move on....unless I see who this person its just blogging right now.

    July 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. i said i would never hurt you 3 nuts yes but never hurt him.

    July 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  18. there was never a po, no jon, no nothing--just 3 hacking ho's doing all the work


    July 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  19. john

    Funny, evertime I hear her sing, I want to commit suicide.

    July 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |


    July 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |


    July 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |


    July 3, 2013 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  23. Laurie

    I wish her the best – success in every way.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  24. rh

    Suicidal because she was a child actress? Or suicidal because mom is dragging her to the next screen test every three seconds?

    July 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Ok, wow...CNN Moderators clean up the "dirty" comments...

    but do absolutely nothing about the stupid hacker troll comments. What gives, CNN? Why does this alleged hacking "victim" get to pollute the blogs with her incessant ramblings? Everyone needs to Report Abuse on all that nonsense until the stupid troll goes away.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  26. cf

    She's a beautiful and talented girl. I'm glad she is getting help for her struggles.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Rick

    The privileged and spoiled develop their own unique perspective on life's values. Where not too many miles from their own home, people dig deep to scratch out a living for themselves and family. Meanwhile some of the elitists feel the peer pressure of NOT having what some would view as frivolous trinkets. Like Mom and Dan buying them the same model Mercedes a classmate got from their parents. Tough life we think. But the affects are just as bad.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  28. martinjazminn

    Reblogged this on halfn0te.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ken

    Suicidal at 7
    Working on getting better at 17
    Attention seeking at 20 one is suicidal at 7. If you understood that concept at 7, you had poor parenting and influences.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • AC

      Not true. My dearest friend was hospitalized in the third grade for suicidal behavior, and she came from an amazing home. Some people are troubled souls.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frey Allster

      I'm sorry. My first memory of depression was in first grade. And I'm talking serious, cry for no reason, sit alone and wonder what's wrong with you depression. I think you need to reexamine that not everyone thinks the same way as you, and if people understood that better, more people would have the help they need.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I was suicidal at 8. I've never heard of this actress before. I was reared in a good family; no stage mom. It doesn't matter whether you're rich/poor whatever, mental illness can start at any age in any family. I struggled with self harm starting at age 12 and was in and out of hospitals. It's probably better that she's bringing attention to this issue, although I wish she were stating more blatently "you can get help; it's not your fault and you're not alone". Also, I hope she's donating some of her money to causes like NAMI.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • JTN

      False! Being suicidal at 7 sounds like it's not possible but it's possible. It happens. I didn't even remember I was suicidal at that age until I began reading my old journal entries.

      December 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  30. be quiet

    Give me a F ing break. She was not suicidal at age 7.

    I love it when a 20 year old thinks they have enough life experience to make huge statements about life and what it takes to make it through. Shut your idiot mouth.

    July 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • GiGi

      I agree. Even though it's good that she is speaking out, it's really annoying to have a 20 year old put up on a pedastal and talk like she has it all figured out. I don't care how evolved a person 20 year old should be dispensing words of wisdom. Annoying!

      July 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I was suicidal at 8. I've never heard of this actress before. I was reared in a good family; no stage mom. It doesn't matter whether you're rich/poor whatever, mental illness can start at any age in any family. I struggled with self harm starting at age 12 and was in and out of hospitals. It's probably better that she's bringing attention to this issue, although I wish she were stating more blatently "you can get help; it's not your fault and you're not alone". Also, I hope she's donating some of her money to causes like NAMI.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  31. sam

    Hot mess.

    July 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Best

    Her childhood is not our problem...people who have had childhood problems sometimes use it as a manipulation make others feel guilty

    July 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Kevin Park

    That is not my problem that she was a suicidal kid 🙂

    July 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  34. tracie


    July 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jhonny

    Oh, SHUT UP, you vacuous twit. You were NOT!
    As a lifelong sufferer of legitimate clinical depression who still undergoes treatment to this day, idiots like this truly insult me to my core. She insults thousands every time she opens her ignorant mouth.

    July 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Park

      Shut up yourself. No one wants to hear your crybaby story either

      July 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      I find it funny, that the same people who would argue that a 7 year old boy has a right to use the girls bathroom if he really thinks he is a girl, would say that a 7 year old can't be suicidal...

      July 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • No place to judge or say shes lying

      You dont know her or her life

      July 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Cobb

    the only thing she's good at is bein an attention ho

    July 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  37. ELSLOBBO44

    she's from here...where she lives has changed I've been shopping at the malls there-– there are eskimoze there too...

    July 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. palintwit

    If I was born a Big Shiz in the Ghetto, I would be suicidal also!

    July 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Its not her song its everybodys song

    the real demi is a talent.

    July 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  40. kris

    Everytime I hear her song..I really hope I get a heart attack

    July 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Kat

    I agree with aallen333. 2much2fast. As for M.A.P. Man will let u down. Jesus will raise u up.

    July 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  42. M.E.

    I respect her a lot as a person since we have a lot of the same issues. I figured I'd give her music a shot on that basis, but good lord it's terrible! You can't be messed up and do the whole teenie-pop thing with it. Somebody give that girl a Joy Division album, some Siouxsie, perhaps some Garbage too.

    July 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  43. aallen333

    We are forcing our children to grow up way too fast. No child should be suicidal at 7 years of age. These are the consequences of an MTV culture and increasingly mature subject matter being fed, through the education system and media, to innocent developing minds incapable of processing what they are hearing and seeing. We are sucking the joy out of our children at a time that should be the most carefree and joyous of their lives. Shame on us all.

    July 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.E.

      A psych called me suicidal at about the same age and I never watched MTV at that age. Y'know what really sucks the joy out of childhood? Having a crap childhood.

      July 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • The bad childhood route....

      sorry too hear that

      July 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Matt

    I went to the same school as her, was only a few years behind, and from what my older friends told me/teachers said Demi was definitely not bullied, if anything she was a bully.

    July 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  45. cycluv


    July 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  46. WillieFDiazSF

    Good lord, Demi is at it again for attention. You know what little girl, MANY people are suicidal at age 7. I myself was abused and beaten severely, left for dead even by my parents, and tried to commit suicide multiple times, even going as far as jumping in front of cars as a kid, just because I felt death was the right way to go about it. While I never succeeded and grew up and grew out of this phase of wanting to die, I never continuously talked about it to get attention like Demi does. You had a drug problem, so did I. You have a suicide problem, so did I. You arent the only one, so shut up and get help and grow up!

    July 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • HB

      She is getting help. You are the one who clearly is need of help though. Wow, you have some serious issues. I was suicidal at the age of seven too from repeatedly being raped for years, but I worked through it. You might want to think about dealing with your rage because it apparently controls you if an article like this gets you that worked up. Good grief.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • KQ

      Quit being an abusive bully.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tcp

      Um, your talking about it right NOW Willie Diaz...and you obviously haven't recovered and now use your "abuse" as a reason to abuse...

      July 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • You

      Shes not saying shes the only one. Shes trying to bring awareness that you can be suicidal at such a young age. Maybe you need to go back and get some help since you obviously still have issues

      July 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  47. bergerfry

    Demi Lovato: "I was suicidal at seven"

    So you went to Hollywood!!

    July 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Mr. Roboto

    Domo arigato, Demi Lovato.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  49. jeremy

    Lady is such a lie bullied as a teenager when did she have time to get bullied beening on tv all the time, plus she was a good looking teenager i dont believe a dang thing this girl says. Really 7 years old give me a break you dont even know what that word means at 7.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I didn't want to bother with you but you are such a moron it is unreal. Being on TV does not mean your life is great, being attractive does not mean you will not be bullied, and you are clearly too stupid to comprehend suicide at 7 but most can even if they don't quite realize the finality of it.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Chris, I beg to differ. You are most likely not on TV or are good looking. I on the other hand have had personal experience in both of those areas and I can honestly say that Demi is full of it. Everyone on TV is happy. Everyone who is attractive doesn't get picked on – that's how god intended it. She just needs to drrrty her image up but druggo sl ut was already taken so they went for "depressive/suicidal" for her transition from Disney. Don't worry it's all an act.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • HB

      I want to reply to jeremy, but I'm not sure how to address such ignorance and blatant stupidity. Um, you're just wrong.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jermy

      LOL you people are the idoits believe all the bull crap these Entertainers say is to funny. You really think she had such a rough life growing up as a millionaire give me a break. Your just as gullible as the next person. All she wants in her name back in the press since its been about 6 months or what ever was since she was a judge on the singing show. Its all about the money and if you dont think so well then dont know what to tell you. This is all and imagine she brough out to sell end of story.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I was suicidal at 8. Kids know the feeling of wanting to die if they're really depressed, even if they don't know the exact words until later. I've never heard of this singer before. I was reared in a good family; no stage mom. It doesn't matter whether you're rich/poor whatever, mental illness can start at any age in any family. I struggled with self harm starting at age 12 and was in and out of hospitals. It's probably better that she's bringing attention to this issue, although I wish she were stating more blatently "you can get help; it's not your fault and you're not alone". Also, I hope she's donating some of her money to causes like NAMI.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • You sir

      You sir are an idiot. Money and looks has absolutely NOTHING to do with mental health. Just because you have money doesnt mean you cannot feel suicidal or have mental issues. You're just as ignorant as the rest of em.

      July 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Fred Evil

    "Being a bada** is handling your s***."
    This is TRUTH. There are far too many people who simply can't handle their s*** in this day and age.
    Pay your bills, take care of your family, love one another, and HANDLE YOUR S***.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  51. Eaglekiss

    "but also an ocean of pleasure" (New Buddha)

    July 2, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  52. Amazing49

    I just want too mention the sequins on the dress-no jewelry required-the hair fabulous

    July 2, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  53. Eaglekiss

    "Life is a sea of suffering" (Buddha)

    July 2, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  54. FashionExpert50

    demi is so pretty, great dress , hair...that is the way a s-xy young woman should look....

    July 2, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  55. Loser still can't spell 'transformed' after two failed attempts

    July 2, 2013 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  56. Pam

    thank goodness we have M.A.P in these times

    July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Aww! I do what I can!

      July 2, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Yrm

      No M.A.P. is not correct. Anyone can be really struggling no matter how much they're on tv. Don't tell me you honestly believe no celebrities have deep pain which they often drown in addiction. Also I beg to differ you can be attractive and bullied. I was bullied as a kid and looking back I was a very cute one and (still am). The other kids picked on me b/c I was one of those kids who was quiet, socially awkward, and "different." Maybe that wasn't your experience but you can't generalize your more fortunate experience to everyone who has the looks and/or is on tv.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JEREMY

      YRM..thats your personal Opinion on your self being cute when you were younger big difference of what other people think. i dont recall any time in my time in school was a good looking girl ever picked on so yea.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Yrm, you were definately not cute. And I can tell from how you wrote your message you were never seriously bullied. You just want to ride in and pretend you know more about this issue and knock me down. YOU are wrong – Demi Lovato may think she's depressed or whatever, but I guarantee you this is a marketing stratergy. No famous 20 something can be like Hanna Montanna – they need edge to remain appealing. This is demi's attempt at creating "edge" for helself. Miley cut her hair short and sings about drugs, and the ones who stayed pure anre GONE (Zach Braff or whatevs).

      July 3, 2013 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      ^@Yrm, and as long as there is gullible people like you to soak this crapp up, the celebrities will keep selling themselves as victims of society, even though they are making millions off of making young girls feel insecure and unattractive.

      July 3, 2013 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
    • no

      F k M.A.P.

      they suck ti ts

      July 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Jane

    We have it dear...thanks for you leadership.

    July 2, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  58. M.A.P.

    Yeah, you're not religious – you just think god caused all those things to happen to you because he wanted you to be famous. Yep, that doesn't sound like a crazy jesus freak to me. Fcking hell what is wrong with all these people!?

    July 2, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • swingstar73

      Exactly what you think is wrong with them. They are like a different kind of people, functionally, even if deep down inside they are the same human. I've been through it with so many Christians in my lifetime and I've Denver seen their minds really debate any ideas out about the true nature of the cosmos and life. They honestly have really let me down as a collective group of people. Trust your conclusions on this one. You are right.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • swingstar73


      July 2, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Thank you for patially restoring my faith in MANKIND. See people – you should have faith in man, not in a pretend GOD.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |

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