Demi Lovato Says She Was 7 When She First Contemplated Suicide
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
In a new interview with Dr. Phil on Tuesday, Demi Lovato spoke about experiencing suicidal ideation as a child.
“The very first time that I was suicidal was when I was 7,” the singer said. “I had this fascination with death… At 7, I knew that if I were to take my own life, that the pain would end.”
When asked about the feelings behind her suicidal thoughts, Lovato spoke about her troubled relationship with her estranged father Patrick Lovato, who struggled with addiction and passed away in 2013.
[My suicidal thoughts were] driven by sadness. It was loneliness and depression. And I believe that a lot of that had to do with unresolved issues with my birth father that I hadn’t dealt with yet. Now that I’ve gotten older and I’ve been able to grieve the loss of him and I’ve been able to step back and look from a distance [and see] that he was mentally ill and that it wasn’t his heart that meant to abandon me. I’ve been able to overcome his loss and understand where everything went wrong and that sadness has been going away.
This isn’t the first time the singer has opened up about her childhood. In her YouTube documentary “Simply Complicated” released last October, she addressed how her upbringing affected her mental health as a child and later as an adult.
“My dad was an addict and an alcoholic, and I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family,” she said in the documentary.
In a study on families affected by parental substance abuse, it was found that children with parents who abused substances were more at risk for developing mental illnesses like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that could affect them into adulthood.
This was something Lovato touched on in her interview with Dr. Phil when she shared that suicidal ideation wasn’t a one-time thing for her, and would come back at times in her life that were particularly difficult.
“It’s been this thought where it came back when I was bullied. It came back several times when I was struggling with depression, my bipolar disorder.”
If you grew up experiencing suicidal ideation, you’re not alone. If you find yourself struggling with suicidal thoughts and need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
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Screenshots via Dr. Phil YouTube channel