Bravo! Demi Lovato Talks Ongoing Battle with Bulimia, Cutting in New Doc

"This is a daily battle that I will face for the rest of my life," admits the 19-year-old star during her MTV documentary Demi Lovato: Stay Strong

It's an extraordinary thing to be in the public spotlight for your beauty, talent and charm. But it's extraordinarily awful when that same spotlight reveals your embarrassments and inner struggles. Demi Lovato has now experienced both sides of this phenomenon -- by choice.

In her MTV documentary Demi Lovato: Stay Strong, which aired Tuesday night, the 19-year-old singer and actress gave fans a heartbreakingly honest look at her personal battles with bulimia and cutting. The Sonny with a Chance star, who has been on TV since age 7 (when she starred in two seasons of Barney & Friends), decided to come clean about the emotional and physical struggles she has been going through since her tweens in hopes that she could connect in a deeper level with her fans. Watch the first nine minutes of the documentary here, where Lovato talks about how her life spun "out of control": 

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"I just remember being 12, 13 and going through these issues alone," she told SuChin Pak, the MTV correspondent who interviewed her in front of a live audience for the documentary. "I didn't really have a celebrity or anybody in the public eye to look at and say well, 'if she got through this, then so can I.'"

While Lovato was on tour with The Jonas Brothers in 2010, her family and friends recognized that she had a problem, and mounted an intervention. Her parents secured her a spot in a Chicago rehab facility, Timberline Knolls, where she stayed three months. The documentary, which is named after Lovato's two wrist tattoos she got as tributes to her fans last spring, follows Lovato post-rehab when she was going back on the road. Cameras also captured her die-hards -- known as "Lovatics" -- who are thrilled that she's on the up and up.

She may be back to work, but Lovato admits to still being a work in progress. "I cannot tell you that I have not thrown up since treatment," the singer told Pak during Tuesday's airing. "I can not tell you that I have not cut myself since treatment. I'm not perfect. This is a daily battle that I will face the rest of my life."

But her motivation to speak so candidly is what's most moving: "I'm not fixed," she admits. "But I continue to work my butt of because now I wanna be a legitimate role model."

Her drive to be a healthy and positive example speaks to the dark side of celebrity in general. The pressure to live up to your fan's expectations can lead to all kinds of vices and risky behaviors. At one point, Lovato says she was trying to self-medicate. You can't help but wonder if that's what happened to Whitney Houston, who long struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

Kudos to Lovato for being brave enough to bring her issues out in the open. If she was striving for legitimacy, then she's already achieved her goal.

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