By Demi Lovato
Seventeen contributing editor Demi Lovato opens up about her struggles with eating disorders and bullying, and talks about how you can stand up to the pressure to be perfect.
I started compulsively overeating at a very young age. And then I almost stopped eating altogether at the age of 12, after being harassed by kids at school, for being “fat”. My eating disorder will continue to affect me for the rest of my life, but I’m proud to say that I got the help I needed, and am now the happiest and healthiest I have ever been!
Eating disorders are serious and complex problems that affect millions of young men and women all over the world. But so many people don’t actually understand them. For example, it’s a common misconception that eating disorders are just about food. But they’re actually about so much more than that.
Eating disorders often stem from feelings of low self esteem, depression, anxiety, or in my case, being teased and ridiculed for my weight. I also believe that a big contributing factor to these feelings is the pressure that’s out there to meet impossible standards.
This is why I’m so proud of my partnership with the Jed Foundation for the Love Is Louder Than the Pressure To Be Perfect Campaign. Through the campaign we encourage everyone to love who they are and embrace the so-called “flaws” that actually make each of us unique.
If you or someone you know if suffering from an eating disorder, it’s important to speak up and seek professional help. There are a lot of great websites out there with tips on how to deal, and more information about the disease. A great one that I recommend is The National Eating Disorders Association.
You can get help, and you can feel better.