Demi Lovato Shares Substance Abuse Story in YouTube Series
In addition to selling millions of records, Demi Lovato has also developed a career as a successful actress and television personality since making her debut on children’s television nearly 20 years ago.
She’s also been remarkably open about her journey through substance abuse, relapses and recovery.
First entering a treatment program in 2010, Lovato has listed mental disorders and trauma among the issues she’s dealt with during her career. In a high-profile incident, Lovato experienced an overdose during 2018 which resulted in a two-week hospital stay followed by a stay in rehab.
Anyone could be forgiven for leaving the public light after such struggles, but Lovato has used her resources to share her story. A veteran of several documentaries in which she explored her past, Lovato’s latest project is Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a documentary series on YouTube. Intended as a companion work to her recent Dancing with the Devil … the Art of Starting Over album, Lovato, friends, and family talk about her 2018 overdose and its underlying causes.
One Person’s Journey Through Addiction
The four-part series takes viewers inside Lovato’s life, from a look at the issues that fueled Lovato’s substance use to her struggle towards sobriety and attempt to return to performance.
Other episodes examine the aftereffects of her overdose, her family’s experiences during the aftermath, and some of her personal experiences as she works on sobriety. Reviews have been largely positive, with critics and viewers focusing on Lovato’s compelling story and the harrowing truths about trauma, addiction, and recovery it shows.
On the surface, it’s perhaps easy to dismiss projects like Dancing With The Devil as another mere celebrity tell-all. However, for those in the recovery world, there’s a deeper message: Lovato’s newest project speaks to the benefits (and necessity) of sharing one’s experiences while in treatment.
Three Ways Sharing In Treatment Is Good For Everyone
It’s one of the most enduring images of recovery.
Sooner or later, everyone working on their sobriety will find themselves in the familiar circle of chairs. Those chairs might be in a sunlit room at a treatment center or clustered together in a musty church basement. Wherever they are, there will be a time in treatment when a person is expected to share their story with others.
It’s not because people trying to get sober enjoy hearing about others' troubles. Sharing stories and experiences is a critical component of successful treatment, with real benefits for both individuals and groups alike. Here are three reasons why:
Sharing builds perspective: Our problems often seem much larger than they are, especially if they’re rattling around in a head already coping with a changing life. Voicing one’s struggles is a way to bring them out and view them in a different way. Plus, both staff and fellow patients have likely struggled with the same problems and can give you valuable insights into overcoming your own problems.
Trust us, you’ll feel better: Talking about your story, your struggles and challenges is freeing for many. Airing your problems can also be a way of showing yourself how far you’ve come in treatment … and your fellow group members can warn you if you’re about to make a misstep on your path to a healthier life. Finally, it’s very easy to get into a habit of withholding one’s experiences in problems out of shame. It shouldn’t be; group sessions are where we can dispose of our emotional baggage about our past, freeing us on improving our life right now rather than beating up ourselves over things that are behind us.
Sharing builds personal and group strength: A lot of support and therapy groups are only as good as the energy put into them. When you share, you’re not only helping yourself; your history and insights may spur another group member into telling their story, making the whole group more valuable (and effective) for all.
This doesn’t mean you need to go and develop your own YouTube channel (although it’s fine if you do!) in order to succeed in treatment. Instead, it’s a lesson in why sharing regardless of the venue is important, and why accepting anything treatment-related on a surface level can be a mistake.
Lovato’s latest project is more than just another attention grab by a celebrity; her readiness to share her story is an example for anybody struggling with substance abuse and/or their mental health.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, a mental disorder or both, don’t delay. A healthier life is within your grasp. Talk to one of our experts today!