"There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin — that if I didn't do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode," she explained about her issues prior to entering a treatment center in late 2010. "I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn't care what happened. I had no fear."
Since leaving that center in early 2011, she has gotten her career back on track. She released the album Unbroken later that year, is currently out on an extensive summer tour and just wrapped up a round of auditions as a judge on "The X Factor." She's also set to host the Teen Choice Awards on July 22.
But her life isn't just about work. "I make time for myself and meditate," she said. "And I haven't used my cell in three months! Subconsciously, it was a crutch. When a room gets quiet, what do you do? Grab your phone! Now I can sit and have conversations with people."
These days, the 19-year-old explained to the magazine, she is in a much happier place. "You can choose to work toward happiness or not," she said. "I used to expect it to come to me, but it takes more than seeing a therapist once a week.
"I've spent the past two years getting over an eating disorder and issues like self-harming and bipolar disorder. Unlike a person who doesn't have these problems, I have to work on this stuff every day," she added. "I'm reminded of that whenever I eat or feel down."
Lovato opened up about her personal issues with MTV earlier this year for the documentary "Stay Strong." She shared in the special that her fans helped her deal with issues like cutting. "Every time someone asks me for a picture or an autograph, even if I'm having a bad day and I'm in a bad mood, I remember, 'You're nothing without this person,' " she explained. "They make it special."