Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Demi Lovato on her new mental health documentary: “I’m bipolar and proud”

demi-lovato-mental-health-documentary.jpg

Demi Lovato has long been open about her experiences of mental health issues, substance abuse and self-harm. The 24-year-old singer, who first found fame aged just 16 in the 2008 Disney movie Camp Rock, entered rehab in 2011, where she was diagnosed with bipolar depression and treated for bulimia.

Ever since, she has made a point of speaking frankly about living with bipolar depression – the depressive phase of bipolar disorder – in the hope of shattering the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Already a spokesperson for US mental health charity Be Vocal, she is now adding another string to her advocacy bow: that of film-maker.

Lovato served as executive producer on new film Beyond Silence, which explores the true stories of three people living with different mental illnesses. And in a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the musician discusses her relationship with her own mental health.


Read more: Artist perfectly captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses


“I’m bipolar and proud, and I live well with it, and I think that’s the goal for everyone with a mental illness,” she tells DeGeneres, explaining that she hoped Beyond Silence would highlight the fact that it is possible to have a mental illness and still lead a full, successful and happy life.

“The reality is one in five Americans has a mental health condition,” she says. “So as long as they get the right treatment plan, then they can live well with it.”

demi lovato

Lovato with the Jonas Brothers in August 2010, six months before entering rehab for substance abuse and mental health issues.

Beyond Silence follows Jeff Fink, Lauren Burke and Lloyd Hale, three Americans who live with a variety of mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. While these are very different disorders, Lovato told Variety in another recent interview that she wanted to show audiences that they shared some common ground.


Read more: Why it’s time to open up about taking anti-depressants


“You can hear in the documentary how different they are, but also how alike they are,” she said.

“It’s important that we get that message out there because mental health is so important – it’s just as important as physical health.”


Watch: What not to say to an anxiety sufferer


Lovato worked on the film with photographer and film-maker Shaul Schwarz and five leading mental health organisations, who suggested Fink, Burke and Hale to appear in the documentary.

“I hope that this film will show people that there is nothing wrong with having a mental health condition,” she said.

“It’s very important we create conversations, we take away the stigma, and that we stand up for ourselves if we’re dealing with the symptoms of a mental illness.

“It is possible to live well and thrive with a mental illness.”

You can watch Beyond Silence here.

Images: Rex Features

Related

this is us anxiety.jpg

TV show praised for startlingly realistic portrayal of panic attack

selena gomez.jpg

“I can’t stand it”: Selena Gomez on the dark side of social media

637391298_copy3_rt.jpg

How the fashion industry is tackling mental ill-health

More

The second series of Victoria has an important mental health storyline

The ITV show is tackling issues as relevant now as ever

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

Woman ghosted by her ex gets ultimate revenge by becoming his boss

Revenge is sweet

by Megan Murray
23 Aug 2017

Former Lioness says women’s football has a toxic culture of bullying

Ex-England player Eni Aluko has spoken out about her time on the team.

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Thought-provoking illustrations reveal hidden secrets of strangers

The artist was met with “unexpected confessions”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

The most annoying Tube habits, as ranked by irritated Londoners

“Could you move down, please?”

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

...and the reasons couples stay together

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017

The new Great British Bake Off might be OK after all

The first episode has not bombed, we repeat: it has not bombed

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

Woman claims she was fired for leaking during a heavy period at work

“Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they're not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

Women football fans forced to show bras while being searched at match

Add this to your list of ‘things that are definitely not OK’

by Moya Crockett
22 Aug 2017

This prosecco advent calendar will have you waving goodbye to summer

We're suddenly very excited about Christmas

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017