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    Demi Lovato Talks Recovery: "I Basically Had a Nervous Breakdown"

    Demi Lovato Flynet Pictures

    Slowly but surely, Demi Lovato is opening up about the personal issues that led to her stint in rehab.

    But the new disclosures aren't dirty laundry for dirty laundry's sake. Instead, the Disney star and newfound Seventeen contributing editor is shedding light on her own destructive past in order to help teen girls—and anyone who needs it—deal with their own struggles.

    She sat down with the magazine this month and spoke candidly about her past anxieties, her pressure-cooker lifestyle and her parents' intervention. Here's what she had to say...

    MORE: Demi's back at work, but where?!

    "I basically had a nervous breakdown," she explained.

    "I was really bad off. My parents and manager pulled me aside and said, 'You need to get some help.' It was an intervention.

    "I wanted freedom from the inner demons. I wanted to start my life over."

    In a short Q&A with the magazine released last week, Lovato got to the heart of her message.

    "If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends," she reportedly said. "Don't put yourself in danger. It's very crucial that you get your feelings out—but don't ever inflict harm on you body because your body is so sacred.

    "I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she's worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything."

    And Demi did just that late last year, when she entered treatment for undisclosed, though widely speculated upon, issues—chief among them cutting and an eating disorder.

    "Yes, there have been times when I definitely have been tempted to get rid of my dinner," the magazine quoted her as candidly revealing. "But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it's a life-long disease. I don't think there's going to be a day when I don't think about food or my body, but I'm living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it."

    And Demi is first in line to take her own advice.

    ""I have come to realize that just making yourself happy is most important," she said. "Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy. That's my life motto."

    Sounds good to us.

    VIDEO: Watch what happened when Demi dropped in on The Soup!

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