Demi Lovato opened about about her history with drug abuse, eating disorders, self-harm and mental illness in an interview with American Way.

“I lived fast and I was going to die young,” Lovato said. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”

Her challenges started at a young age. “Even though I was 2 or 3 years old, being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder … it’s hard not to grow up like that,” Lovato said of seeing her mother deal with bulimia.

She says her own binge eating began at the age of 9 and self-harm came at 12. Lovato spent her childhood in beauty pageants and talent competitions until her national break in 2007 when she landed in Disney Channel’s Camp Rock with the Jonas Brothers.

Lovato recalls thinking, “Oh crap. In three years, that’s going to be me,” when looking at the struggles of other Disney child stars.

She eventually turned to drugs and alcohol abuse, along with binge eating to deal with the stress of fame. Lovato checked herself into rehab in 2010 after a violent encounter with a friend. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and bulimia. She exited the spotlight to treat her drug abuse problem a year later.

Since Lovato has returned to the limelight, she has regained her place as a pop star and uses her platform to advocate for mental-health awareness. “The more you talk about mental illness, the less of a taboo it becomes,” Lovato said. “As a pop star, I can say, ‘Hey, I’ve got bipolar disorder — it’s nothing that anyone can be ashamed of.”