Demi Lovato says she was suicidal at age 7: 'I had this fascination with death'

Demi Lovato is opening up about her struggle with mental health, and the role it's played in her life since she was a child.

The "Sorry Not Sorry" singer sat down with Dr. Phil for an interview, which airs Tuesday, and she got candid about how she first felt suicidal when she was a young child.

"The very first time I was suicidal was when I was seven. I had this fascination with death," the singer shared. "I have experienced things that I have not talked about, and I don't know if I ever will talk about. But at seven, I knew that if I were to take my own life, that the pain would end."

Lovato explained that the thought of suicide "came back when I was bullied," and during several other periods in her life when she was dealing with emotional turmoil and trauma.

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Demi Lovato arrives at the City of Hope Benefit Concert with Miley Cyrus & Jonas Brother at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
BURBANK, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Actresses Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato arrive at Chevy Rocks The Future at the Buena Vista Lot at The Walt Disney Studios February 19, 2008 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 23: Singer Demi Lovato attends the 2008 Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 23, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Demi Lovato Arrives For The Disney Channel European Premiere Of Camp Rock At The Royal Festival Hall On The South Bank In Central London. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
READINGTON, NJ - JULY 26: Disney artist Demi Lovato perfoms at the 2008 Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning at Solberg Airport on July 26, 2008 in Readington, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Demi Lovato attends 2008 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre on November 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by ANDREAS BRANCH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 29: Actress and singer Demi Lovato performs as she opens for the Jonas Brothers at the MGM Grand Garden Arena November 29, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/singer Demi Lovato arrives at The City of Hope Benefit Concert at Gibson Amphitheater on September 14, 2008 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Actor Josh Duhamel (L) and actress Demi Lovato present the Choice TV Drama award onstage during the 2008 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater on August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by K Winter/TCA 2008/Getty Images for Fox)
Demi Lovato arrives at the City of Hope Benefit Concert with Miley Cyrus & Jonas Brother at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 05: DISNEYLAND Photo of Demi LOVATO, Portrait of Demi Lovato at Miley Cyrus' 16th birthday party (Photo by Christina Radish/Redferns)
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UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/singer Demi Lovato arrives at The City of Hope Benefit Concert at Gibson Amphitheater on September 14, 2008 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Actress Demi Lovato arrives at Chevy Rocks The Future at the Buena Vista Lot at The Walt Disney Studios February 19, 2008 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 24: Demi Lovato, of the Jonas Brothers movie Camp Rock, performs at The Crazy Donkey on June 24, 2008 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Demi Lovato -- Air Date 07/17/2008 -- Episode 3589 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Demi Lovato during an interview with host Jay Leno on July 18, 2008 -- Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Actress Demi Lovato attends the Disney Channel Premiere of 'Camp Rock' on June 11, 2008 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
From Left To Right: Alyson Stoner, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Demi Lovato And Nick Jonas Arrive For The Disney Channel European Premiere Of Camp Rock At The Royal Festival Hall On The South Bank In Central London. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
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"It came back several times -- when I was struggling with depression, my bipolar disorder. And there was a while there when my mom was afraid to wake me up in the mornings because she didn't know if she opened the door if I would be alive or not," Lovato said. "Because every time I cut, it got deeper and deeper."

The pop star has been very open in the past about her struggles with mental health, sobriety and self-harm, and has undergone treatment in the past to help her get a handle on the issues that have haunted her for years.

While the singer recently celebrated her sixth anniversary of being sober, she also admitted to Dr. Phil that she has one "everlasting addiction" that has proven harder to control than even drugs or alcohol.

"I think the everlasting addiction in my life has been food. My eating disorder started when I was very young. That's something that I deal with on a daily basis," she explained. "It's kind of the last thing to go."

"I feel like I've conquered my addiction and alcoholism, where I don't even think about it anymore. But my struggles with my food issues are something that I still deal with," she added. "But I'm growing, and I'm in a really good place today."

Another aspect of her life that has caused the singer a great deal of pain was her strained relationship with her father, who Lovato says she "stopped communicating" with when she was 14, and she feels she never got closure before he died.

"He passed away when I was 20. And at the time, I was so conflicted," she told Dr. Phil. "A part of me hated him, a part of me loved him, a part of me felt sorry for him."

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Lovato penned her song "Father" as a way of paying tribute to her complicated relationship with her dad and his death, and she admitted that it's harder for her to perform in concert than nearly any other song she sings.

"This is the first tour that I've performed it on. I've only sang it live three times," said Lovato, who is currently traveling across the country on her Tell Me You Love Me Tour. "I get through it OK. But I realize that I can't just shut out this performance. I can't just not play a song. The healing is through performing it."

Watch Lovato's full, emotional sit-down discussion on Tuesday's Dr. Phil. Check here for local listings.

ET caught up with Lovato in March 2017, where she opened up about what motivates her to fight her vices and stay emotionally healthy.

"What keeps me on this path is there's a drive that I have to stay sober because I know that my life depends on it," she reflected. "If I would have continued down that road, I don't know if I'd be here today."

 

 

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