Just after unconfirmed reports published Tuesday afternoon that pop star Demi Lovato had been hospitalized for an apparent overdose, many fellow celebrities - including recent collaborators - took to Twitter to state their love and well-wishes.
It's somewhat unusual to see such an immediate outpouring of support made so public from famous friends for such a private matter. But Lovato's openness with addiction and mental illness, when the norm or celebrities is to try to keep such personal struggles private, has allowed for such public goodwill from fellow stars.
Long before Lovato's representatives issued any kind of statement official statement on Tuesday regarding her health, people like Ellen DeGeneres were already publicly commenting.
"I love (Demi Lovato) so much," tweeted Ellen DeGeneres. "It breaks my heart that she is going through this. She is a light in this world, and I am sending my love to her and her family."
I love @DDLovato so much. It breaks my heart that she is going through this. She is a light in this world, and I am sending my love to her and her family.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 24, 2018
"My friend (Demi Lovato) is one of the kindest, most talented people I've ever met," Brad Paisley tweeted. "Praying for her right now, addiction is a terrifying disease. There is no one more honest or brave than this woman."
My friend @ddlovato is one of the kindest, most talented people I've ever met. Praying for her right now, addiction is a terrifying disease. There is no one more honest or brave than this woman.— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) July 24, 2018
Kehlani, who toured with Lovato this year, tweeted, "addiction isn't one of those things you can put yourself in the shoes of. you had to have fought the fight yourself or had it rip your family apart your entire life ... even then, the latter is still not the same thing. this isn't the time for the picking apart or making light of."
sending huge recovery love to Demi. this is a very personal moment and respected delicately. all we can do is send our best wishes and love. addiction isn't simple nor easy. you're very loved, @ddlovato you'll beat this as you did before.— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 24, 2018
addiction isn't one of those things you can put yourself in the shoes of. you had to have fought the fight yourself or had it rip your family apart your entire life... even then, the latter is still not the same thing. this isn't the time for the picking apart or making light of.— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 24, 2018
There had been conflicting reports as to the drugs involved in the reported hospitalization. On Tuesday night, Lovato's representative said the singer was "awake and with her family who want to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support," but that "some of the information being reported is incorrect and they respectfully ask for privacy and not speculation as her health and recovery is the most important thing right now."
Years ago, Lovato revealed her struggle with addiction and mental-illness. In a 2016 interview with American Way, the singer said she had "depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harming impulses" at the height of her career and that as a child, she was purging and self-harming. By the time she had her own Disney show and toured with the Jonas Brothers, she began self-medicating with alcohol, cocaine and OxyContin.
"I lived fast and I was going to die young," Lovato told the magazine. "I didn't think I would make it to 21."
In 2010, she left her tour to "seek medical treatment for emotional and physical issues she has dealt with for some time," her rep said at the time. The singer checked into rehab after she punched a backup dancer, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She would eventually check into a sober house, and in March 2018 announced she had been sober for six years.
"When I have meet-and-greets, I can't tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts," Lovato said in 2016. "They'll tell me, 'You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,' or 'I got sober.' Hearing those things gave my life new meaning."
Lovato even added a mental-health advocacy component to her tours, where she offered fans a chance to participate in "wellness workshops."
During her appearance at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Lovato said, "Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I am lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility. Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don't get help, whether they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment."
"Thanks to Demi Lovato for her open attitude about her mental health," the Mental Health Center of Denver posted on its Facebook page back in 2016. "Her honesty has helped so many others."
She put out a YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, in which she, along with family members and associates, detailed how addiction impacted her life and the lives of those around her.
Lovato's openness and letting so many people into her most private struggles turned her into an inspiration for many, a responsibility that at times left her feeling resentful, Lovato said in the 2016 interview with American Way. "But now, it's really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable."
As she celebrated her sixth year being sober in March, during a tearful moment at a concert in New York, she said, "I made changes in my life, and the reason I became so open about my story is because I know that there are people here tonight that need to ask for help, and I want you to know that that's OK."
But last month, Lovato released a song entitled Sober, in which she sang, "I'm not sober anymore," and apologized to her family, fans and herself, singing, "I'm sorry for the fans I lost/ Who watched me fall again. I wanna be a role model/ But I'm only human."
"To the ones who never left me/We've been down this road before," she sings. "I'm so sorry, I'm not sober anymore."
Even as the circumstances of her reported hospitalization aren't totally clear yet, what is clear is that there are still many people, including fellow world-famous musicians, who haven't left her corner.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post
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