Demi Lovato is opening up about the grim and painful realities of suffering from addiction and mental health conditions. In a trailer for her new YouTube docu-series, released Wednesday, Lovato revealed that the overdose she experienced in 2018 caused her to have three strokes and a heart attack.
“I’ve had so much to say over the past two years wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened,” the actress and singer said at the beginning of the trailer.
The four-part documentary, “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” focuses on Lovato’s personal and professional life leading up to and after the overdose she experienced in July 2018.
“I had three strokes. I had a heart attack,” Lovato said. “My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes.”
Many of Lovato’s family, friends and other celebrities, including Elton John and Christina Aguilera, are seen in the trailer. Some of those featured said that they were unsure if she was going to survive the overdose.
“I’ve had a lot of lives, like my cat. I’m on my ninth life,” Lovato said. “I’m ready to get back to doing what I love, which is making music.”
During a virtual panel for the Television Critics Association on Wednesday, Lovato also told reporters that she continues to suffer from brain damage from the incident that impacts her day-to-day abilities, according to The Associated Press.
“I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today,” she said. “I don’t drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision. For a long time, I had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read a book, which was like two months later, because my vision was so blurry.”
The 28-year-old singer and actress has been upfront for years about her struggle with mental health and addiction. Several of her songs discuss these battles, and in her 2017 YouTube documentary “Simply Complicated,” Lovato revealed she tried cocaine for the first time when she was 17 years old and working for Disney Channel. A few years later, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Mental health and addiction are both common problems across the world, and each of these issues can exacerbate the other, research shows. Surveys show that about half of the people in the U.S. who experience mental health illnesses also experience substance abuse disorders, according to studies cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Lovato told Glitter Magazine on Wednesday that ultimately, she hopes the documentary will “help people who have been on the same path as I have.”
“What I learned is that, it’s so much more than just mental health, you know? My life is now about spiritual growth and how I can help everyone, even people that don’t have mental illnesses, how we can help elevate everyone’s vibrations so that we can live in a more positive planet,” Lovato told the Magazine. “That’s how I navigate through my day; how are my choices today going to affect those around me in a positive way? How am I going to better myself today? So, hopefully, people can see that in the doc as well.”
The YouTube documentary will premiere on March 23.
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