Demi Lovato’s so much more than her gorgeous ab selfies or even her music.
She’s an advocate for mental health and has been very forthcoming with the public about her bipolar disorder.
So some of what Demi had to say in a recent interview might catch some fans off-guard.
Demi Lovato told Elvis Duran the iHeart Radio show, Label Defiers, that she doesn’t want to be defined by her mental illness.
“I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it’s something that’s true — I am bipolar — but I don’t like people to use it as a label.”
Different people feel comfortable or uncomfortable with labels in general.
Others accept and embrace certain labels while rejecting others, and there’s a whole list of different criteria that different people might use to decide whether they like something as part of their identity or not.
But Demi doesn’t want to think of being bipolar as an identity.
“It’s something that I have, it’s not who I am.”
Demi’s position actually puts her at odds with a trend among Millennials who deal with mental illness, chronic illness, or neurodivergence in general.
While opinions about labels themselves can vary, many Millennials embrace their identities — and include disabilities and other fixtures in their daily lives as parts (wanted or otherwise) of who they are.
Whether a person has a form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or suffers from depression, it’s not uncommon to see Millennials talk openly — at least with each other — about their problems in order to be honest with their friends and exchange advice.
There are also therapeutic elements to sharing your experiences with others — sometimes talking about depression can help a person move forward despite their illness.
After all, not every illness or chronic condition has a cure or even an effective treatment.
Thanks to the internet, there are entire communities made up of people who discuss their coping strategies for everything from OCD to physical disabilities.
To many people, making something like bipolar disorder part of their identity helped improve their lives.
But that’s not true for everyone.
Some people who are overweight and who want to lose weight embrace the “fat” label to feel better about themselves and therefore more motivated to work on their flesh prisons by exercising and changing dietary habits.
For others, the motivation to make that change comes from focusing on where they want to be in life.
Bipolar disorder is very different, as there are medications and treatment options, but nothing in the way of a cure.
For Demi, however, looking at the life that she wants to live and focusing on that might be more effective as part of combating her bipolar disorder (in combination with medication, of course) than thinking of the disorder as part of who she is.
Demi Lovato has a history of paying attention to what people are going to say and how they are likely to respond to her.
That doesn’t mean that she’ll change what she’s going to say, though.
(That’s kind of what “Sorry Not Sorry” is all about, really)
So we think that Demi was pretty careful with her phrasing here, avoiding slamming bipolar folks who might feel differently than she does.
She’s thoughtful like that.
She’s also thoughtful enough to share amazingly hot photos all of the time over Instagram, so it’s basically impossible to have a problem with her.