Demi Lovato isn’t just inspiring her fans to talk about their experiences with mental health — she’s also inspiring her fellow pop stars. On the June 24 episode of her talk show, Kelly Clarkson talked to Lovato about her experiences with depression, as the two singers talked about the importance of being open and vulnerable about their mental health. The American Idol winner began her interview by praising Lovato for being "so open" about mental health and her experiences with depression and bipolar disorder.
"I love how open you are about mental health because I have similar issues, and I suffer from depression," Clarkson said on The Kelly Clarkson show. "I think a lot of people, especially in the creative world … [are] kind of trained to just keep going and ‘you can handle it,’ especially as a woman it’s like, ‘Don’t let them see you sweat.’"
Adding that "not everybody is as vulnerable" as Lovato, Clarkson explained that it’s important for their young fans to see someone talk frankly about experiences they may also be going through, to know they’re not alone. "Knowing that someone else is going through it makes you not feel alone and so depressed about it," she continued. "Thank you for doing that. It’s really hard."
The feeling was clearly mutual, as Lovato revealed that Clarkson was "the first idol" she had as an aspiring singer, and that she always wanted to model her career after the American Idol winner. "I wouldn’t be the artist or even the person I am, with being so outspoken and vulnerable and fearless if I hadn’t had you to look up to," Lovato said. "You are fearless and courageous and real as f*ck. … When I was younger I always thought to myself, ‘If I ever make it, I want to be like her, because she’s real and she’s genuine.’"
Despite their willingness to share their respective struggles with their fans — and with each other — both Clarkson and Lovato admitted that looking after your mental health "takes work," which some people don’t understand. "Even when you overcome something, they’re like, ‘OK, she’s already overcome it,’" Clarkson explained. "I’m like, ‘No, no that’s a daily effort in, like, trying to be positive." Explaining that being in a good mental state is "not a given," the singer and TV host continued, "I think that’s a daily thing that you work at and a daily thing that I work at."
Though she hasn’t been as outspoken about her experiences with depression as Lovato, Clarkson has been opening up quite a bit recently about mental health on her talk show. In fact, on June 23 — just one day before interviewing Lovato — she and Chelsea Handler reflected on the ways that attending therapy has helped them take care of their mental health and recover from trauma.
"I actually, 100 percent, know and go to therapy," Clarkson told Handler on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "You think you’re past it, and although you know the situation and think you figured it out, you just don’t realize how much PTSD comes into play when something triggers you like that." She may not realize it, but Clarkson is definitely helping her fans and viewers realize that they’re not alone in their experiences with mental health.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.
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