Music

Demi Lovato Says She Struggled with 'Suicidal Thoughts' but Now Has an 'Incredible Support System'

Demi Lovato is focusing on her mental well-being.

After releasing her YouTube Originals docu-series Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, the "Anyone" songstress, 28, opens up to PEOPLE in this week's issue about her struggles with mental health and how she now has the support system to bounce back when things get dark.

"Suicidal thoughts are something that I've had my whole life, and if it were to ever get dark again, I have an incredible support system," she tells PEOPLE. "Because I am an empath, I feel so deeply and so extreme, to where it does get really dark but I have the support system around me now where I don't let it marinate at all in my thoughts."

The singer says she now knows she's not alone.

"I immediately reach out to people, and then from there, we figure out what treatment plan I need, and sometimes it's just going to sleep," she says. "Sometimes it's journaling, it's a meditation, whatever it is with my treatment team. But I have found many things that help me in those moments."

"I have tons of resources and tools and I feel prepared, which I hadn't felt prepared a few years ago," she says.

Lovato also opened up to PEOPLE about losing her virginity in a rape at 15 years old and how she's learned to heal from that trauma.

"Sometimes people hear my music from when I was a teenager and they're like, 'Oh, you were so angry.' I'm like, 'Yeah, and now you guys get to see why I was so angry,'" she says.

"Having put that out in front of the camera and knowing that people have seen that, it's freeing. It's empowering. It's liberating," she adds of sharing her story. "And it really lets that anger that was inside of me dissolve. I had let go of a lot of the anger beforehand, but this was kind of just the final send-off, like, okay, I can really heal from this now."

Now, Lovato says she's embracing the fact that she got a second chance, especially after her 2018 overdose.

"It feels like such a fresh start. I feel like I am the freest I've ever been. It feels great to live in my truth fearlessly," she says. "I feel proud, but I also know I'm not hanging my hat up yet."

"I have so much work to continue to do, and the work that I've done has been so exciting because it's opened up my doors to my spirituality, embracing my identity, coming into myself more and just exploring that," she adds.

For more on Demi Lovato and her emotional and physical recovery following a terrifying overdose three years ago, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.


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