Demi Lovato says she was told she was ‘not sick enough’ for eating disorder treatment

*Story contains graphic references to bulimia that some readers may find triggering or distressing*

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 30 March 2021 11:25
Demi Lovato was told she was 'not sick enough' for eating disorder treatment
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Demi Lovato has revealed that she was told she was “not sick enough” to get proper treatment for her eating disorder.

The singer has struggled with bulimia and anorexia from the age of 12 and while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, admitted that her eating disorders got worse again when she was sober.

“I couldn’t understand why the last two years of my sobriety, I had a raging eating disorder,” Lovato said. “Like, if I’m so ‘good’ spiritually and spiritually fit… why am I still throwing up?”

She continued: “I had told my treatment team at the time, ‘I need help, my bulimia is getting really bad.’

“And they said, ‘Well, you’re not sick enough, but we can put together this week-long intensive retreat for you.’”

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“They said you’re not sick enough? How does someone decide you’re not sick enough to get treatment?” an incredulous Rogan questioned.

Lovato replied: “I don’t know, because the week before I had thrown up blood and I had told them that… I guess because to them I wasn’t underweight.”

Adding that not getting “the help I needed” left her miserable for six months, Lovato said it was this that caused her to relapse and start taking drugs again.

Elsewhere in the episode, Lovato revealed that she is pansexual, prompting an outpouring of support from her fans.

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The former Disney Channel star was also recently the subject of a documentary film titled Dancing with the Devil, which explored her substance abuse issues and her near-fatal relapse in 2018.

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677.

NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. Visit or call 0845 838 2040.

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