[Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of self-harm]

Demi Lovato recently opened up about why she often ditches fan meet-and-greets and the reason is hard to hear.

In a new interview with Paper magazine, Demi admitted that she finds meeting her fans to be particularly draining, especially when they open up to her. She explained,

“It’s draining, yes, and it’s hard. There’s reasons why my meet and greets have gotten a lot shorter over the years. More than a handful of people would tell you each time, ‘You saved my life,’ or they would show me the cuts on their wrists.”

She continued,

“I know that they mean well, I know that they are confiding in me because they have no one else. But it does take a lot.”

Demi has worked hard to move past her history of self-harm. And while she’s always been open about her history of cutting herself — something she finds incredibly important — that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ok seeing other people’s scars.

dancing with the devil demi lovato

Demi was spotted with scars on her arms as early as 2008 (when she was 16). She didn’t end up going public with her history of cutting until 2011 in an interview with 20/20. She explained at the time,

“It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body… I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn’t know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself.”

dancing with the devil

She later expanded on her experience of self-harming while speaking with Self magazine a year later in 2012. She said,

“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 added,

“I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn’t care what happened. I had no fear.”

For many people with a history of cutting, seeing others with scars, cuts, and marks can be particularly triggering. However, triggers are different for every individual.

If you are currently hurting yourself or thinking of hurting yourself, reach out to the Crisis Text Hotline where you can text with a trained counselor.

Wondering what to expect when you reach out to a suicide hotline? Read one person’s first-hand account of what it’s like to be on the other end of the phone.

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