Why Demi Lovato Says She Doesn’t Want To Be Labelled As Bipolar

Karomaza |

By Korin Miller

“It’s important to speak up about the things you believe in.”

Demi Lovato has a message for the world: She may be bipolar, but it doesn’t define her.

In a new  with Elvis Duran as part of iHeartRadio’s Label Defiers with ZICO Coconut Water, Demi says that she’s over being labeled as someone with a mental-health condition. “I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it’s something that’s true—I am bipolar—but I don’t like people to use it as a label,” she says. “It’s something that I have, it’s not who I am.” Instead, she says, she’d rather people look at her as an activist for mental health.

Watch: This Explains EXACTLY What Bipolar Mood Disorder Is

“I think it’s very important that people raise the importance of mental health because it’s something that’s so taboo to talk about,” she says. “The more people know about it, the more people are going to be able to find solutions to what they’re going through.”

Demi has been open about her past health struggles, which include substance-abuse issues, bulimia, and cutting. In 2011, she entered a treatment facility where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, she says, she’s candid about her struggles and recovery “because it’s something I’m very passionate about.”

She also touched on Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s recent death after a long struggle with mental illness, saying that it’s important for people to speak up when they’re facing a mental health battle. “It’s a very unfortunate situation and I feel terrible for [Bennington’s] friends and family, but I know that maybe this will raise the topic into conversation around mental illness and mental health and help somebody,” she says.

Watch: 8 Questions Therapists Ask To Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

Demi doesn’t just speak out to raise awareness of mental health—she recently executive produced a documentary called Beyond Silence, which follows three people and their experiences with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.

Demi says she plans to keep speaking out about mental health. “It’s important to speak up about the things you believe in, because your voice will be heard no matter what position you’re in,” she says. “I just happen to be in a position where more people would hear my voice than they would have 10 to 15 years ago, so I use my voice to do more than just sing.”

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