Demi Lovato Talked About Going to Rehab During a ‘Sonny with a Chance’ Reunion

Everyone’s using Zoom to stay connected these days, and the casts of some of your favorite old shows are no exception. During a reunion with the rest of the Sonny with a Chance cast, Demi Lovato got candid about what she’s been doing since the show was on the air in 2011.

Within the first minute of the call, the cast members of the Disney Channel series began to share their life updates. Lovato went first: “I went to rehab,” she said. “Several times!” Lovato left Sonny With a Chance after its second season, when she was 19. The rest of the cast went on to appear in the spinoff, So Random.

On the call, Lovato explained to her Sonny costar Tiffany Thornton that she had been inspired by her after she started treatment for the first time.

“When I went away to treatment for the first time, you were my biggest inspiration coming out of it because you dealt with all of those pressures of being a woman on TV,” Lovato said. “I looked at that as, ‘I wish I had that so bad.’ Yes, I probably was happier in my head with whatever I looked like at the time. But I’m so much happier now with the mentality that you have. I look back now and I’m like, Man, it’s a shame that we wasted any energy on what we wore on set.”

She went on, saying that she was pleasantly surprised that the cast of her show was able to stay on TV without her: “When I left, you don’t expect your show to go on without you, but it did,” she said. “But I couldn’t have been happier for everybody…I just wasn’t in a period of time when I was ready to be on camera again. I could not go back into that environment and there were other things that factored into it.”

Thornton added that she remembered Lovato’s dressing room was “98 degrees every day.”

“I had an eating disorder and I was underweight and freezing!,” Lovato responded.”I would have people over for meetings on my lunch breaks, because that’s how much I worked,” she recalled. “People would come in and I’d be covered in a blanket and people would say, ‘Why is it 80 degrees in here?’ I would be like, ‘Because I’m freezing.’ They would be like, ‘Oh my god, what’s wrong with you?'”

In the past, Lovato has talked about her time in rehab and her eating disorder. In 2015, she spoke at the National Council of Behavioral Health’s Hill Day in Washington, D.C., where she shared her own story of having an eating disorder and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“I knew at a young age that some of my behaviors were a problem,” Lovato told after the event.“When I was bulimic, I knew it was a problem. When I was anorexic, I knew it was a problem. But I wasn’t in a place where I could quit by myself. Getting the diagnosis kind of explained why I would act out,” she said of her bipolar diagnosis. “So when I was diagnosed, I went back and told my manager and my parents and my closest friends. I was like, ‘Hey, so I’m bipolar …that‘s why….'” She continued: “I think when someone gets to rock bottom and they need a way out of that hole, the only way to get out is to surrender and ask for help.”

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