Demi Lovato: Cutting Herself Since Age 11!

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We've known Demi Lovato is a "cutter," but the recent revelation that she began to slit her wrists and mutilate herself at age 11 is startling.

Now 18, Demi opened up to 20/20 about her recent stint in a treatment center, where she was treated for cutting, bulimia and emotional issues.

Cutting is "a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body," according to Demi, who adds she's been overeating since age eight.

Demetria Lovato

Demi Lovato has also experienced - and been shaped by - bullying.

"I've spoken openly about being bullied throughout the past few years," she says.

"But one thing that I've never been able to feel comfortable talking about was the effects that it had on my life, afterward. I didn't know why they were being so mean to me. And when I would ask them why, they would just say, 'Well, you're fat."

Her torment turned into a lifelong disease, and one dangerous habit after another.

"I developed an eating disorder, and that's kind of what I've been dealing with ever since," she said. "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," Demi Lovato says of spiraling out of control.

"The only way that I could get instant gratification," she chillingly notes, "was through an immediate release, and taking it out on myself."

During the interview, Lovato also says she takes "100 percent, full responsibility" for attacking her back-up dancer Alex Welch last year:

"I feel horrible, [She] was my friend."

Lovato says she hopes her story can "open up the eyes of so many young girls" who are fighting the same issues. We hope it does, too.

[Photo: WENN.com]

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this is arelly sad story

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People shouldn't call cutting stupid. It's simply a coping mechanism. The way other people drink, or sleep around, or anything like that. It's not a good thing to do, but if you have depression, it doesn't matter how good your life is relative to others, because it is a mental illness. And you have to cope somehow, so don't judge people who do it.

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Dear demi i no u like to cutt ur self and stuff but u have to stop it will mean the world to ur mom and dad please stop

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pleazzz ur my number1 fan i went through trouble just like u i stared to cut also u need some 1 to help u i did and i grew out of cutting pllezzzz stop cutting and ull br happy and feel good !!!!!!! love ya!

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I love u demi and u are my idol but no more cuting ....plezzz I love u Snookie -out

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To be honest..if you have never cut and your saying that demi is stupid your mean. You dont know what she was going through. She is soo strong for getting through what she went through and she is definatly my idol for that. She is amazing and i love her...with or without her scars+ her cutting...xo

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Demi is my ultimate idol, for this reason. I've gone through bullying also, and it sucks. Demi's music def helped me just cuz they were so easy to relate to, and they really helped me pull through. My friends don't like Demi because she cut herself. they don't understand that she didn't kno wht else to do! demi, ur songs inspire me to be myself and to push through the pain to find happiness. Thank u for being a big part of wht I am today.

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I hae her in my prayers continually!!! I have bipolar just like her so I know what she's going through and how she must feel!! You rock Demi!! We all love you.

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wow i cannot beliviv it she my sister i cant see her like this i try to stop her she just fights back

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I am a cutter, i started last month, stopped for abit and started again. I am under depression so that is one of the reasons i guess, but demi, im glad she has stopped.. she is my role model.. i lovee her.. lovee Sophiee