Demi Lovato, Like Other Celebrities, Speaks Out About Eating Disorders

Demi Lovato has been out of rehab since late January 2011, and is working on her recovery while also trying to help others who have struggled with similar issues she has endured. Lovato came forth in recent weeks openly discussing that she has battled with anorexia and bulimia, cutting and bipolar disorder.

The former Disney star left the “Camp Rock Tour” in October 2010, when in a state of mania, she hit backup dancer Alex Welch. That was Lovato’s breaking point, and her family and management intervened so that she could enter a treatment facility to get help.

Demi was bullied as a preteen, and subsequently began starving herself. Cutting and bulimia soon followed, as she strived to reach an impossible level of perfection. Since coming out of treatment, the former “Sonny with a Chance” star has gotten involved with the “Love is Louder” campaign and is a contributing editor for Seventeen, where she writes about issues that teens encounter and healthy ways of coping.

Since being back on Twitter, Lovato gives her fans updates on her progress and reminds followers that she is raising awareness of eating disorders and self-harm. She recently tweeted a message of support to Lovatics, writing “NEVER be ashamed of your problems… Your body… Yourself… YOU are worth LIFE.”

This 18-year-old singer isn’t the only celebrity to speak out about eating disorders to try to make a difference to others who are suffering. Although the pressure to be thin and to present a flawless image affects a number of celebrities, reports of confirmed eating disorders are sometimes kept under wraps in Hollywood. These celebs, however, have been candid in sharing how they have overcome eating disorders in an effort to educate others on the seriousness of the illnesses and hope for treatment and recovery.

Brittany Snow admitted in 2007 that she had been battling eating disorders, depression and self-harm for at least nine years. The former “Guiding Light” and “Hairspray” actress partnered with The Jed Foundation and the “Love is Louder” campaign in 2010 to raise awareness surrounding the isolation and related issues that can come from bullying, to promote suicide prevention and encourage teenagers to seek help.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, famous for her role as Meadow Sparrow in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” became a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association and created the Jamie-Lynn Sigler Foundation after developing and recovering from exercise bulimia. In her fight against eating disorders, she has worked to help women develop healthy body images.

Entertainer Paula Abdul is on the Ambassador Council of NEDA, promoting awareness and treatment of eating disorders. Abdul had previously been in treatment for bulimia.

“Growing Pains” star Tracey Gold developed anorexia while playing Carol on the ’80s sitcom. Her eating disorders became a very public issue for her, as the media coverage exposed her trials. After her recovery, Gold went on to star in a movie where she portrayed a character with an eating disorder, and later wrote a book about her own personal battle.

Celebrities can use status for more than just displaying the latest fashion trends. Being vocal about their own personal demons and treatment, while striving to help others, can encourage people to seek life-saving help for emotional, mental and physical disorders.

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