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Demi Lovato

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As many as 20% of teenagers will suffer from depression by the time they reach adulthood (“Teenage”). That is one in five teenagers. Depression does not discriminate between age, race, or even social class. Actress, singer, and songwriter Demi Lovato has suffered from depression. In 2011, Demi was diagnosed with a specific type of depression called bipolar II disorder (“Demi Lovato Recalls…”). Demi Lovato’s story of depression and very successful recovery has brought a voice to many teenagers across the world suffering with similar issues. Demi’s story lets them know that they are not alone and getting help is okay.

Demetria Devonne “Demi” Lovato was born on August 20, 1992 in Dallas, Texas to parents Patrick and Dianna (DeLaGarza) Lovato (“Biography”). When Demi was 4, her parents divorced and her father is not a really part of her life anymore. Demi participated in beauty pageants, and for the talent portion, she would sing. She began to take singing lessons. To pay for the lessons, Demi began acting at a very young age. Her first role was at the age of six as Angela in “Barney & Friends” (“Biography”). She was still enrolled in public school, but when she was 11 and 12, she was bullied very severely. Students once signed a petition saying, “We hate Demi Lovato,” along with being called fat (“Demi Lovato: Stay…”). It got so bad that she had to drop out of school to be homeschooled by her parents. At age 11, Demi first recalled cutting herself, and at age 12 was when she had begun to purge and eventually developed bulimia (Russo). She kept these issues to herself because she felt shameful that she was suffering with them. She would often eat dinner with her family, then excuse herself to go to the bathroom, only to purge what she had just eaten (Russo).

Demi guest starred in many shows, including “Prison Break,” “Just Jordan,” and “Grey’s Anatomy” (“Biography”). In 2007, she began to work with Disney Channel and was cast as Charlotte Adams in the Disney short “As the Bell Rings” (“Biography”). A few months later, she was cast as Mitchie Torres in the Disney movie “Camp Rock,” opposite the Jonas Brothers. (“Biography”) After the movie premiered, Demi’s career skyrocketed. She was thrust into stardom and became a role model for many young children around the world. Soon after “Camp Rock” premiered, she released her debut album “Don’t Forget” (“Biography”). At this time, her self-harm and bulimia had spiraled out of control, and Demi began to party and experiment with drugs and alcohol. She didn’t feel like she was a role model at that time, because she didn’t believe that anyone should be like her (Russo).

She would receive drugs from clubs and stores so that the store would get publicity from her being there (Russo). She began to spiral out of control. She wouldn’t be able to hold a meal down, she would often do shows on an empty stomach and she was slowly ruining her vocal chords from purging. At one red carpet event, a picture was taken of her and the cuts on her wrist were visible. This photo captured publicity for a short period of time, and then was soon forgotten (Russo).

In 2010, Demi went on a world tour with the Jonas Brothers. Demi’s condition finally got the best of her while on tour, and took out her frustration on one of her back-up singers, getting into a physical altercation with her (Canning). Demi had to cancel the remaining dates of her tour and was checked into Timberline Knolls Treatment Facility in Illinois in October of 2010 (Russo). At first, Demi was reluctant to go because she thought that her fans would turn against her and she would receive ridicule. The outcome was the complete opposite. Demi received much support from her fans and the public eye (Canning). Demi was released from Timberline Knolls in January of 2011, after completing the rehab program.

After being released, she took a break from her career. She eventually completed the album, “Unbroken,” she had been in the process of recording before she entered treatment. The album was released in September of 2011, making it her third and most recent album (Russo). Demi also made appearances on many talk shows such as “20/20,” “GMA,” and “Ellen” to discuss her struggles with bulimia and self-harm (Russo). While on the shows, she would promote recovery. She would send positive messages to her fans, called “Lovatics,” by telling them that they are beautiful and deserve to life a happy life.

She scheduled a headlining tour, and while on this tour, she began filming for her documentary “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong” (“Biography”). Her documentary premiered March 6, 2012 on MTV. She wanted to document her post-treatment life, and to bring awareness to such taboo topics as eating disorders and self-harm (Russo). Demi is very vocal about the issues she suffers from, and lets people know that they are not alone. She goes into intimate detail of her struggles and how she is able to cope with them. She discusses her daily battle with food and how difficult it is for her to feel good about herself. She also talks about her recovery and visits the treatment facility she was in for three months to talk to the girls that were in there for similar issues.

Demi is continuing her ever-growing career by scheduling a tour for summer 2012 and recently signed on to be a judge on “X-Factor USA” with Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, and LA Reid (“Biography”). Demi Lovato uses her voice, not only for singing, but also to raise awareness. The awareness she has brought to these very serious issues have saved so many young lives by letting teens know that they are not alone.…...

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