Demi Lovato shares a shocking ‘before and after’ picture of her eating disorder

“Recovery is possible.”

Demi Lovato is a lot of things — an ex-Disney star, an impressive singer, an actress — but the thing she often describes herself is a ‘survivor’. Demi has suffered with eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, as well as depression, bipolar and self-harm, and in recent years, she has opened up about her ‘demons’. But in a new documentary called Simply Complicated, Demi is getting franker than ever, and letting her fans see into a really dark time for her.

Alongside the YouTube documentary, Demi has also shared some snaps on social media of herself at the height of her eating disorder — posting a ‘before and after’ picture that made us gasp.

Demi captioned the photograph with “recovery is possible”, giving her young fans hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In her documentary, Demi goes into detail about a recent eating disorder relapse that was triggered by her breakup with her long-term boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama, that happened in June last year.

“When I was in a relationship with Wilmer I went three years without purging and when we broke up that’s one of the first things I did,” she told her manager. “The less I have to think about food, the easier it is to go about having a normal life and I don’t want to let anybody down so when I do have moments when I slip up, I feel very ashamed. What started the relapse was missing Wilmer. And when I feel lonely my heart feels hungry and I end up binging.”

Though she believes she’s on the straight and narrow now, she admits that her relationship with food will forever remain a challenge, and it’ll be something she has to manage forever.

Now, Demi turns to the gym for comfort, routine and meditation — crediting mixed martial arts as her ‘therapy’ of sorts.

“The gym really helps and I know that I would be in a very dark place without it,” she said. “Anytime I’m able to take my mind off of any of my addictions, it’s very beneficial to me. Working out is a form of meditation for me because I’m not focused on anything in my head. It can transport you to a totally different place.”

You can watch Demi's full documentary, here:

If you, or anyone that you know is suffering with an eating disorder and is seeking help, please contact The Butterfly Foundation.