Demi Lovato sits down for a chat with Self magazine and opens up about recovering from an eating disorder, cutting herself and her friendships with Selena and Britney. Speaking about what she learned in rehab, the 19-year-old singer says that, “I’ve spent the past two years getting over an eating disorder and issues like self-harming and bipolar disorder. Unlike a person who doesn’t have these problems, I have to work on this stuff every day. I’m reminded of that whenever I eat or feel down.”

On going public about her eating disorder, Demi admits that, “When I was younger, stick-figure thin was in and nobody was talking about eating disorders. I want girls to know that it’s OK when they grow up and their body changes. I want them to be aware that certain things they might do to lose weight can be dangerous—life-threatening, even.”

The young star confesses that her friends help her recovering and getting healthy. “I surround myself with people who make positive decisions and who have more interests than wanting to go to clubs and get wasted. My friends and I look out for each other, and I love just inviting everyone over to watch TV. I like Law & Order — except it makes me want to go out and inspect everyone on the street to see if they’re a serial killer,” she says.

Demi Lovato Talks Being Bipolar and Eating Disorder with SELF August 2012 Demi Lovato Talks Being Bipolar and Eating Disorder with SELF August 2012

In her interview with Self, Demi also opens up and explains cutting. “There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin, that if I didn’t do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode. I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn’t care what happened. I had no fear,” she told the magazine.

On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Lovato recalls that, “Finding out I had a real emotional disorder helped me put together the pieces of the puzzle. I remember being on my tour bus thinking, My life is so awesome right now, but I’m so depressed. Then, a few days later, I’d be on top of the world. It was really confusing. When I got diagnosed, my life made more sense.”

Demi Lovato Talks Being Bipolar and Eating Disorder with SELF August 2012 Demi Lovato Talks Being Bipolar and Eating Disorder with SELF August 2012

On being a spokesperson for the antibullying movement Love Is Louder, Lovato says that, “When I was 12, I was bullied. It wasn’t physical, but sometimes I’d say to the girls, ‘Hit me! What you’re doing verbally and online is so much worse.’ That’s when a lot of my issues spiraled out of control. The things they called me will stick with me for life.”

Demi told the magazine that she now finds herself in a happier place than in the past. “Definitely. You can choose to work toward happiness or not. I used to expect it to come to me, but it takes more than seeing a therapist once a week. I make time for myself and meditate. And I haven’t used my cell in three months! Subconsciously, it was a crutch. When a room gets quiet, what do you do? Grab your phone! Now I can sit and have conversations with people,” she told the magazine.

Besides, she admits that she is more confident. “I used to feel most beautiful on the red carpet, but now I’m most confident on the beach, with no makeup and no worries about my hair,” Demi says. As on her friendship with Selena Gomez, Lovato confesses that, “Selena [right] and I aren’t as close as we used to be, but she’ll always have a place in my heart.”

Photos courtesy of SELF