Why Demi Lovato Says She Doesn’t Want To Be Labeled As Bipolar

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 Lovato has a message for the world: She may be bipolar, but it doesn’t define her.

In a new interview with Elvis Duran as part of iHeartRadio’s Label Defiers with ZICO Coconut Water, Demi says that she’s over being labeled as someone with a mental-health condition. “I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it’s something that’s true—I am bipolar—but I don’t like people to use it as a label,” she says. “It’s something that I have, it’s not who I am.” Instead, she says, she’d rather people look at her as an activist for mental health.

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“I think it’s very important that people raise the importance of mental health because it’s something that’s so taboo to talk about,” she says. “The more people know about it, the more people are going to be able to find solutions to what they’re going through.”

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Demi has been open about her past health struggles, which include substance-abuse issues, bulimia, and cutting. In 2011, she entered a treatment facility where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, she says, she’s candid about her struggles and recovery “because it’s something I’m very passionate about.”

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She also touched on Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s recent death after a long struggle with mental illness, saying that it’s important for people to speak up when they’re facing a mental health battle. “It’s a very unfortunate situation and I feel terrible for [Bennington’s] friends and family, but I know that maybe this will raise the topic into conversation around mental illness and mental health and help somebody,” she says.

Demi doesn’t just speak out to raise awareness of mental health—she recently executive produced a documentary called Beyond Silence, which follows three people and their experiences with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.

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