Demi Lovato Opens Up About Living With Bipolar Disorder, Launches 'Be Vocal' Collection

By Britni de la Cretaz 12/02/16

“If you know someone or if you’re dealing with it yourself, just know that it is possible to live well. I’m living proof of that.”

Demi Lovato Opens Up About Living With Bipolar Disorder, Launches 'Be Vocal' Collection

Demi Lovato, who has long been open about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BPD), is continuing to talk about her life with mental illness in an attempt to shatter stigma and help others.

Lovato, 24, chatted with People magazine, telling them “it is possible to live well” with BPD, adding, “I’m living proof of that.” The singer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was in treatment for alcohol and drug addiction in 2011 (she has also publicly discussed struggles with eating disorders and self-harm). "I feel like I am in control now where my whole life I wasn't in control," she told People in 2011, referencing the periods of mania and depression she experienced. "What's important for me now is to help others."

And help others she has. Lovato has been tireless in her mission to help her fans who struggle with mental illness, even holding mental health workshops of sorts before her concerts. She recently partnered with Mike Bayer, founder and CEO of CAST Centers, to provide conversations about mental health and addiction as part of her Honda Civic Future Now tour. According to Lovato, “This is a chance for you to come hear influential speakers talk about their personal journeys. After these talks, you’ll be inspired and motivated to overcome your personal fears and setbacks. We want everyone to leave empowered to start the journey on living your best life.”

In that vein, Lovato partnered with Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health in 2015, which consists of five mental health organizations that work to “reframe mental health imagery and encourage others to speak openly about mental health with their doctors, support systems, family and friends,” according to People. Now, they’ve joined forces with Getty Images and photographer Shaul Schwarz to create the “Be Vocal Collection,” a collection of images that seeks to offer more positive and realistic portrayals of people living with mental illness. The website explains that “imagery and language have the profound ability to evoke emotions and shape perceptions.” The images are free of charge for editorial use.

The Be Vocal Collection showcases 10 people living with mental health conditions. Photo via Be Vocal

Lovato told People that her fans are “part of a younger generation who hopefully is going to change the future for the next generation where mental illness won’t be so taboo to talk about.” Ultimately, she says, “I want to prevent [stigma] from being attached from anything mental health.”

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
britni headshot.png

Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.