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Demi Lovato: "I Basically Had a Nervous Breakdown"

USMagazine, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 7:01am (PDT)

How did Demi Lovato end up in rehab last fall?

"I basically had a nervous breakdown," the 18-year-old Disney star confides in the new issue of Seventeen magazine. "I was really bad off. My parents and my manager pulled me aside and said, 'You need to get some help.' It was an intervention."

(In previously leaked excerpts from Lovato's interview -- her first post-crisis sit-down -- the Sonny With a Chance star admitted to a "life-long" eating disorder and struggle with her body image.")

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"I wanted freedom from the inner demons," she says. "I wanted to start my life over."

As part of that new start, the on-the-mend star has partnered with Seventeen and the Jed Foundation for the "Love is Louder Than The Pressure to Be Perfect" campaign -- which will focus on helping teen girls cope with self-esteem issues.

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"My fans have been such an incredible support system for me -- I hope I can repay this and help other girls learn from my experiences," says Lovato, who will be writing a regular column for the mag online.

"It's very crucial that you get your feelings out, but don't ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred," Lovato adds in her interview. "If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends. Don't put yourself in danger."

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She continues: "I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she's worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything."

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