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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Demi Lovato talks about nervous breakdown, eating disorder, pressure to be perfect

    Demi Lovato. (Seventeen)

    Troubled teen Demi Lovato is out of rehab and declares that the pressure to be “perfect” in Hollywood led to her seek treatment.

    “I basically had a nervous breakdown,” Demi reveals in the May issue of Seventeen. “I was really bad off. My parents and my manager pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to get some help.’ It was an intervention. I wanted freedom from the inner demons. I wanted to start my life over.”

    PHOTOS: Demi Lovato.

    The 18-year old Disney star, who left treatment in January, entered rehab last October to address “emotional and physical issues” after a fight with a backup dancer led her to canceling a tour with the Jonas Brothers.

    She now has the words “Stay and “Strong” tattooed on her wrists.

    Demi in August 2010 before she sought treatment. (AP)

    While never mentioning specifics, Lovato said she had an eating disorder. “There have been times when I definitely have been tempted to get rid of my dinner,” said Lovato. “But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it’s a life-long disease. I don’t think there’s going to be a day when I don’t think about food or my body, but I’m living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it.”

    Looking happy and healthy, Lovato recently taped a PSA for the Jed foundation for the “Love is Louder Than The Pressure to Be Perfect” campaign.

    “There’s a ton of pressure out there to meet impossible standards—to look right, be smart, be thin, talented and popular,” says Lovato. “If you’re going through a dark period, remember that you’re not alone. You can get help, and you can get better.”

    Lovato will now act as a contributing editor at Seventeen, with a bi-monthly column on the magazine’s web site.

    “I’m so excited to be working with Seventeen and The Jed Foundation to help other teens talk about and cope with the problems we all face,” says Lovato, “My fans have been such an incredible support system for me—I hope I can repay this and help other girls learn from my experiences.”

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