The “Neon Lights” singer, who previously said she “wouldn’t be alive today” if it weren’t for the former That 70s Show actor, recently revealed that her boyfriend is the first person she’ll call when she’s suffering a panic attack.
“I’ve actually had anxiety to the point where I’ve felt drugged. I actually ended up having problems with my thyroid because I was so stressed out and so anxious at times in my life. I remember one time I actually went to the hospital because I physically felt like I had been drugged; I was having an anxiety attack,” she explained to The Huffington Post about her mental disorder diagnosis. “On a day-to-day basis if I get anxiety, I just need to take a couple deep breaths because sometimes I feel like I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes I’ll get very shaky and very scattered.”
“The first call I make is my boyfriend,” she continued. “He calms me down and makes me feel so much better.”
“Having people who are professionals as well and not relying on just one person is another key to maintaining a healthy recovery,” she said. “I talk to my therapist. I’m actually in AA, so I reach out to my sponsor. I talk to the people around me, like the people on my team. I vocalize a lot of what I need and they’re very understanding. I’m very grateful for that.”
As the new spokesperson for Be Vocal, a campaign aimed at raising mental health awareness, the 22-year-old also stressed that the public needs to be more educated about mental illness and addiction. Lovato, who recently celebrated her third year of sobriety, explained it’s “so unfortunate” there’s still a social stigma regarding mental health.
“With addiction, there are times that people think ‘Well why doesn’t this person just stop drinking?’ or ‘Why doesn’t this person just eat something?’ for people who have eating disorders. It’s not that simple. If it were, so many people wouldn’t be struggling with it,” she said. “There’s a lack of compassion for people who have mental illnesses and there’s a lot of judgment. Once you make people realize that mental illness can happen to anybody — and it’s not anybody’s fault — then I think they’ll become more understanding of what mental illness really is.”