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Demi Lovato: ‘I Had A Breakdown… A Meltdown’

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Sep. 19 2011, Updated 3:00 p.m. ET

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By Radar Staff

On Tuesday’s edition of The Ellen Degeneres Show, Demi Lovato says there was a silver lining to her breakdown for bipolar and eating disorders last winter, and maps out what message she hopes to send to her younger fans.

Asked about her sabbatical last winter, in which she eventually went to rehab, Lovato, 19, said, "It was called a mess.

"I don’t know what to really call it but yeah, I’ve called it a breakdown, a meltdown," she said. "I went from being at the highlight of my career. Having a movie about to come out or just come out and being on this tour. Having so much success. So many things were going great in my life and then all of the sudden my personal life just went down at crazy speeds.”

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Lovato said that in retrospect, she's glad she had the breakdown because it got her the help she direly needed.

The Texas-born beauty said if she "had never gone into the treatment ... I don’t know if one, I’d even be sitting here today. Two, if I’d be alive today."

Degeneres asked the Camp Rock star, who's been surging in her career since returning from treatment, what advice she'd have for her young fans going through similar issues.

Watch the video on RadarOnline.com

Lovato said girls don't need to live up to the unrealistic images of the "very, very skinny girls" that grace magazine covers.

"It’s very unhealthy -- there was nobody out there for me to look at and say, maybe this is unhealthy," she said. "Maybe starving myself isn’t the answer. So I want to be that for a 13-year-old girl at home deciding whether or not to eat dinner or an 18-year-old deciding whether or not to keep her breakfast down.

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"There needs to be a role model out there and for the first time in my life I actually feel like one."

Also in the appearance, Lovato performs the song Skyscraper from her new  CD, Unbroken, which drops at midnight.

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