Demi Lovato Reveals She Suffered Brain Damage After Near-Fatal Overdose in 2018

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Demi Lovato is being brutally honest. The singer-songwriter premiered the trailer for her upcoming YouTube Originals docuseries, Dancing With the Devil, at the Television Critics Association’s 2021 winter press tour Wednesday (Feb. 17). In the teaser, the star shares that as a result of her near-fatal July 2018 overdose, she suffered three strokes and a heart attack.

But that wasn’t all. Speaking with reporters after unveiling the trailer, Lovato said that the experience impacted her health in other ways. “I was left with brain damage and I still deal with the effects of that today,” she shared. “I don’t drive a car because of blind spots in my vision … I had trouble reading.”

“I dealt with a lot of repercussions,” she added. “They’re still there to remind me what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again. I’m grateful for those reminders.”

The artist and mental health advocate added that though she did rehab afterward, she “didn’t have to do a lot” of it. “The rehabbing came on the emotional side and the therapeutic side,” she explained. “I did a lot of work after that, just not physical.”

And while there are still lasting physical effects from the overdose, Lovato — who has also signed on to star in NBC comedy Hungry — says she wouldn’t change a thing about what happened to her. “It was a painful journey and I look back, and sometimes I get sad when I think about the pain I had to endure, but I don’t regret anything,” she told reporters. “I’m so proud of the person I am today.”

She also wants her story to help others. “I wanted to reveal it all for my fans and say, ‘This is who I am, and this is where I am today. If it helps you, then I hope that it can,’” Lovato shared. “That was ultimately my purpose in putting this [documentary] out.”

But there’s another potential benefit as well. Lovato believes the brutal honesty in Dancing With the Devil will help her keep her life on track. “One of the main reasons why I’m coming forward with my story is because I don’t want to have to live that life again. I’m holding myself accountable,” Lovato said, noting that prior to her 2018 overdose, she had been sober for six years. “Coming forward and telling my story held me accountable for those six years. I was just so proud of the growth I had experienced.”

And she’s not worried about how much she shares in Dancing With the Devil. Lovato explained: “You only worry if you have things to hide.”

Dancing With the Devil premieres on YouTube Originals March 23.

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