Mental Health Awareness News: Singer, actress, and X Factor judge Demi Lovato has spent most of her life in the spotlight and in the headlines. After her acting debut on Barney & Friends, Demi quickly found fame on the Disney Channel. In 2008, she landed starring roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock and the Disney Channel Original Series Sonny With A Chance. Demi also released two well received albums in 2008 and 2009, and toured as the opening act to the 2010 Jonas Brothers Live in Concert World Tour. However, after punching a back-up dancer, Demi left the tour in October 2010 to enroll in a treatment center. It was was later revealed she suffered from bipolar disorder, bulimia, and self-harming behavior, in addition to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Demi Lovato Talks Mental Health
Demi celebrates three years
Since finishing treatment in January 2011, Demi has become an advocate for mental health awareness. She is also daringly open in interviews about the extremity of her drug and alcohol addictions. Recently, she spoke about how she would manipulate people in order to sneak drugs in a candid interview with Access Hollywood:
“I’m very, very good at manipulating people and that was something that I did in my disease, I would manipulate everyone around me. There were times I would just continue to lie, so that everything looked OK on the outside… I would sneak drugs. I couldn’t go without 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes. I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there. I’d sneak to the bathroom and I’d do it. That’s how difficult it got and that was even with somebody [with me], I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me [and] I was able to hide it from them as well.”
Although the extent of Demi’s manipulation may be shocking to some, the sad truth is that addiction and manipulation often go hand in hand. This is why mental health awareness is so very important.
Signs of manipulative behavior
If you suspect a loved one of addiction, how do you know if they’re exhibiting manipulative behavior? Harriet Braiker, an American clinical psychologist, defined psychological manipulation as “when one person (the manipulator) tries to change the perception or behaviour of another or others through exploitative, underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.” Furthermore, according to HealthCentral.com, the “manipulative individual works very hard to get what they want through the use of threats, emotional coercion, or inducing guilt.” As addicts often attempt to hide their addiction from others, they may use manipulation as a way to deflect their loved ones’ suspicion about their addiction. Manipulation comes in many forms, ranging from blatant flattery to refusing to take responsibility for actions. Furthermore, addicts will often manipulate their families by blaming their loved ones for their problem, or even bullying family members into keeping silent should they discover the addiction.
One of the best manipulative tools an addict can use is a loved one’s reluctance to admit there may be a problem. Dianna Hurt, Demi’s mother, admitted to Access Hollywood she suspected Demi was struggling, but “was in denial. I didn’t know. I didn’t actually see her, so when she said, ‘Oh no, [t]here’s nothing going on. I’m not using, I’m not drinking, I wasn’t doing any of these things[.]’ Why was I not to believe her?” Dianna is not alone in her denial; addiction can manifest itself in different ways and people are often reluctant to recognize their loved ones as addicts. Still, if you suspect you have been a victim of manipulation due to someone’s addiction, there are ways to help.
Addiction, as Demi Lovato’s own struggles have proven, can often lead to manipulative and self-destructive behavior. If you or a loved one is battling a substance abuse problem, please contact The Watershed today: 1-800-861-1768.