We've known Demi Lovato is a "cutter," but the recent revelation that she began to slit her wrists and mutilate herself at age 11 is startling.
Now 18, Demi opened up to 20/20 about her recent stint in a treatment center, where she was treated for cutting, bulimia and emotional issues.
Cutting is "a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body," according to Demi, who adds she's been overeating since age eight.
Demi Lovato has also experienced - and been shaped by - bullying.
"I've spoken openly about being bullied throughout the past few years," she says. "But one thing that I've never been able to feel comfortable talking about was the effects that it had on my life, afterward.
I didn't know why they were being so mean to me. And when I would ask them why, they would just say, 'Well, you're fat." Her torment turned into a lifelong disease, and one dangerous habit after another. "I developed an eating disorder, and that's kind of what I've been dealing with ever since," she said. "I was matching the inside to the outside." "And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn't know what to do," Demi Lovato says of spiraling out of control.
"The only way that I could get instant gratification," she chillingly notes, "was through an immediate release, and taking it out on myself." During the interview, Lovato also says she takes "100 percent, full responsibility" for attacking her back-up dancer Alex Welch last year: "I feel horrible, [She] was my friend." Lovato says she hopes her story can "open up the eyes of so many young girls" who are fighting the same issues. We hope it does, too.