It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Demi Lovato over here, and while there are many reasons behind our love for her, I personally admire her candidness and maturity the most. Not many people her age (or older, for that matter) have achieved the level of self-awareness that she possesses, and especially not young celebrities. She’s always been open about her struggles with mental illness, which lead to her struggles with an eating disorder, self-harm, addiction, and eventually a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
A lot of people would feel pretty overwhelmed after that, because it’s pretty heavy stuff. While I’m sure Demi’s path to finding peace with it wasn’t easy, she’s dealt with it extraordinarily well by making it her mission to spread awareness about mental illness and helping people feel more comfortable talking about it, and less ashamed. She recently announced she’ll be joining The Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour to further advocate for mental health support and treatment, serving as an ambassador and educating others about mental health:
“I want to shine a light on the people out there who, like me, are learning to live well mental illness by getting the right diagnosis and finding the right treatment plan. I want to be the most informed and powerful advocate I can be and to help people find the courage to seek help.”
Here’s her powerful, moving PSA:
I don’t know guys, I’m just kind of in awe of her. While I can’t entirely relate to personal journey (because it’s hers and hers alone), I’ve definitely experienced some rough bouts of depression throughout my life, and like Demi, my littler sister has been a guiding light through my darker times. I also know how hard it is for me to share that part of myself with anyone (I kept it from my own husband for about five years). The shame is real. As we learned this week, even wonderfully warm, seemingly happy, beloved people like Robin Williams feel ashamed and alone. Because mental illness doesn’t care who you are, what you do, or how many people adore you.
My hope is that awareness and education will lead to more open discussions and dialogues about mental illness, and that the stigma surrounding it will slowly shrink away and disappear. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I do know thanks to proactive, wonderful people like Demi Lovato, we’ve got a good start.