Demi Lovato's Teen Struggles Detailed by Friend: 'So Fragile'

Demi Lovato was a "very fragile" teen star, and a close friend is now detailing the struggles she faced prior to her substance abuse issues.

Speaking to PEOPLE, the unidentified friend — who claims to have been a former member of the singer's "inner circle" — shared candid insight into how Lovato's years as a child/teen star led her to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

"She was very young, very fragile. The schedule was so intense," the source revealed. "Demi never had a day off. She had to put in 16 hours on set, then go on tour, then record, then do press. She was exhausted."

Notably, Lovato herself addressed this notion in a 2017 YouTube documentary about her life.

"Everything happened so fast. All of a sudden I was on tour, writing songs for my album with The Jonas Brothers and then I was on a tour of my own. Looking back, I think that it was a lot for anyone, let alone a kid," Lovato confessed.

She went on to add that she "started feeling pressure to look a certain way."

"[Even] to sing music that I felt people would like rather than sing that I would like," she said. "There was more pressure to succeed, you know? I really wanted to be the best of the best."

As has been widely reported, Lovato was rushed to the hospital on July 24 after being found unresponsive in her bed. It was eventually reported that a drug overdose was the cause of her condition. She currently remains hospitalized.

"It's too soon to say what the next steps are in terms of entering treatment," a separate source close to Lovato revealed to PEOPLE. "Right now everyone is focused on getting Demi physically healthy."

As Lovato continues to recover, many of her fans are still taking to social media to wish her well and encourage her to keep making progress.

"good morning I love demi lovato with my whole heart and will never leave her," one fan wrote on Twitter.


"You are worthy [Demi Lovato]. You are the only version of you to ever exist in the universe," someone else gushed. "You are SPECIAL."

While Lovato is still being treated for her apparent overdose, she is expected to make a full recovery and enter rehab following her release from the hospital.