April 21, 2011 15:12:00 GMT
Demi Lovato is convinced childhood bullying is to blame for her battle with an eating disorder, because she endured years of taunts about her weight.
The 18-year-old singer/actress, Demi Lovato was admitted to rehab last year to deal with a number of issues, including anorexia and bulimia, self-harming and bipolar disorder.
Demi Lovato has been candid about the emotional and physical stresses she has faced and she has now revealed her problems began when she was targeted by bullies as a child.
In an interview with U.S. news show "20/20", which will air in its entirety on Friday, she says, "I literally didn't know why they were being so mean to me. And when I would ask them why, they would say, 'Well, you're fat.' I was bullied because I was fat. And then a few months later I developed an eating disorder and that's kind of what I've been dealing with ever since."
"I was compulsively overeating when I was eight years old. So, I guess for the past 10 years I've had a really unhealthy relationship with food."
The teenager also reveals her battle with bulimia eventually began to threaten her career as the regular vomiting had a detrimental effect on her voice.
She adds, "I was performing concerts on an empty stomach. I was losing my voice from purging (vomiting). I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression, and I literally was so emotionally whacked out..."