Demi Lovato

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Demi Lovato was in for quite the shock when she entered treatment last year.

Seeking help for depression and an eating disorder, the 18-year-old Disney Channel star learned for the first time that she was bipolar.

"Looking back it makes sense," Lovato told People in a recent interview. "There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I'd be up until 5:30 in the morning."

So when Lovato reached out to Catherine Zeta-Jones with words of support, she knew what was what.

"I feel like I am in control now where my whole life I wasn't in control," she said. "What's important for me now is to help others."

Since checking out of a Chicago treatment center in January after a nearly three-month stay, Lovato has indeed been particularly forthcoming about her physical and emotional issues, apparently as part of her desire to educate and encourage others to get help.

"It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body," Lovato, referring to her previous habit of cutting herself, said during a sit-down with ABC News' Robin Roberts.

"I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn't know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself."

The petite brunette also battled anorexia and bulimia and has acknowledged that she will be struggling with those disorders for the rest of her life.

"I was compulsively overeating when I was 8 years old," Lovato revealed. "So, I guess, for the past 10 years I've had a really unhealthy relationship with food."

Ultimately, it all became too much.

"I was performing concerts on an empty stomach," she told Roberts. "I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression, and I literally was so emotionally whacked-out that I took it out on someone that meant a lot to me."

Lovato's ABC interview airs Friday on Good Morning America and 20/20.

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