Demi Lovato is known by millions of Americans as a young and successful singer, actress, and television host.
The twenty one year old celebrity has enjoyed quite a bit of public attention as both a recording artist and one of the hosts of the popular television show The X Factor.
Unfortunately, however, the attention that she has received for most of her life since beginning her career as a child in the popular television show "Barney and Friends," has come at a high price.
Like many individuals who are in the public eye at a young age, Lovato has struggled with a number of serious mental health issues including an eating disorder, a tendency to cut herself, and addiction to drugs.
When a person is diagnosed with having multiple disorders that occur at the same time in this way, they are said to have co-occurring disorders.
Co-Occurring Disorders And A Vicious Cycle
It is very common for individuals who suffer from the disease of addiction to be diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. There are a number or reasons for this. Often, one disorder may occur as a result of another.
When a person is addicted to drugs, for example, they are at a much higher risk to suffer from other psychological disorders, such as depression or anxiety. This may be because the actual effects of the drugs themselves cause physiological changes in a person's behavior.
A person may also begin to experience a lower self image as a result of feeling out of control of their own addiction, which can lead to feelings of helplessness. When a person, like Lovato, begins to habitually physically harm themselves, it is often related to depression and low self image.
It may also be the case that another disorder makes a person more prone to addiction. Lovato, for example, suffered from the eating disorder bulimia. Sadly, many young performers who have been in the spotlight have experienced serious body image issues which have led to eating disorders.
Lovato reports that she turned to the habitual use of the drug cocaine in an attempt to regulate her weight. Because co-occurring disorders can feed off one another in this way, it can be somewhat difficult to treat a person with them, and successful treatment requires that both or all disorders are treated at the same time.
A Vow to Remain Sober
After getting the help she needed to regain control of her life, Lovato has recommitted herself to being in control of both her personal life and her career. Before kicking off her tour in 2013 for her album, "Demi," Lovato instituted a drug-free policy for absolutely everyone on her tour.
Believing that drugs and alcohol are completely destructive, and run counter to her goal of putting on the best possible show for her fans, Lovato has required that all people associated with the tour remain clean and drug free while working. It is very common for recovering addicts to separate themselves from users as they work to remain clean and healthy.
Many addicts seek to surround themselves with other sober people, who will be supportive in their quest for health and who will not be triggers for an addict to relapse. Lovato's bid to regain her sobriety and her mental health has proved to be quite successful.
She reports that she is living a much happier and healthier life, and that she has found ways of coping with the stress of work in a healthy way. She as also received wonderful reviews for both her tour and the album it supports.