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Demi Lovato explores trauma in new documentary


     Well-known actor and singer Demi Lovato released the first episode of her documentary series called Dancing with the Devil on Mar. 23 on her youtube channel free for anyone to watch. The documentary was broken up into four episodes where Demi opened up about how she dealt with addiction, eating disorders, depression and many other mental problems she struggled with. 

     The first episode of Demi's documentary was called “Losing Control” where she talks about what led up to her overdose in 2018 after being allegedly sober for six years. On Jul. 24, 2018, Demi was hospitalized after she overdosed which forced her to step out of the spotlight to try to begin her recovery. In the first episode, she mostly talks about all the stress she was under and how she was not honest with her family or friends about what she had been going through. She also goes in depth about her eating disorder and how she over-exercised and deprived herself of food constantly worrying about her weight. As a singer, she had been surrounded by a team of assistants, wellness coaches, dietitians, nutritionists and several therapists who Demi felt like had more control over her life than she did. Considering Demi had already been to rehab and had a past with drugs and alcohol, it is understandable that they surround her with good people and influences. However, Demi felt as if these people took too much control away from her which caused her to relapse after attempting to take some of that control back. Some of her friends said that they believe Demi went back to drugs and alcohol after

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Graphic by Mckinsey Burt

being denied it for so long as an act of rebellion. Although I can't imagine what it must have been like to have so many choices made for you, I don't believe the best way for her to try and prove that she can make her own decisions was by going back to all those influences that have gotten her in trouble in the past. 

     The second episode of Demi's documentary was called “5 Minutes From Death'' which went into detail about the night she overdosed. It showed her family and friends’ first reaction, along with the toll the overdose took on Demi's mind and body. In interviews, Demi's friends recall how they found Demi cold, alone and blue, thinking that she was dead for sure. Luckily, they called 911 just in time. Many doctors said that five or ten minutes later and Demi would not have been alive today. Demi had experienced a heart attack, pneumonia, multiple organ failure and three strokes which caused brain damage not allowing her to drive anymore. On top of that, Demi woke up legally blind in the hospital not being able to see her sister right in front of her.

     The third episode of Demi's documentary was called “Reclaiming Power” and it really went into talking about how after the overdose Demi was able to realize who was truly there for her and the type of people she wanted to surround herself with. She wanted to make some changes in her life, which is why she switched agencies and convinced Scooter Braun to be her new manager. After the overdose, her friends and family didn't expect her to relapse again. With so much pain from reflecting on her past and having to recall the horrific experiences where she was taken advantage of, Demi sadly had a relapse after a long week in rehab with the same drug dealer who sexually assaulted her the night of her overdose. When she told Scooter about her relapse she expected her new manager to leave her because she had become more of a burden than a client. To her surprise, he told her that he wanted her to be safe and wanted to help her as long as she was honest with him. 

The third episode also goes in-depth about how the overdose affected Demi’s friends and family. While Demi was recovering, her close friend and former choreographer Dani Vitale was being harassed with death threats and accused of supplying Demi with the drugs along with allowing her to become addicted. Demi's fans and the media were so quick to blame Vitale because it was the day after her birthday party in 2018 that Demi overdosed. As the threats increased, Even though Vitale had no idea that Demi was using drugs again when she overdosed, her name was slaughtered all over the media and her career was ruined. She was an innocent bystander and just another friend kept in the dark by Demi. 

     The final episode of Demi's documentary was called “Rebirthing,” and it went on to talk about the more recent events happening in Demi's life. During quarantine things finally started to look better for after quickly getting engaged to her new boyfriend Max Ehrich. Her relationship and engagement with Max was short lived and came to an end when Demi broke up with him after realizing things weren't going to work out with them after quarantine. It's hard for me to believe that emotionally Demi would be able to take another hard hit. When asked for her documentary if she was currently sober, Demi said that she is trying to find balance and still drinks alcohol and smokes in moderation. Her family and friends said they don't really like the moderation idea but they are going to support and be there for her. Slowly but surely, Demi is coming back better than ever after singing a song emotionally close to home for her called Anyone at the 2020 Grammys. She kept the momentum going when she went on to sing the National Anthem like she always dreamed at the Super Bowl in 2020. Now, Demi lives in a new house where she feels more comfortable with herself. Demi is thankful for the second chance she has been given and hopes to one day find the balance she's been looking for.

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