Demi Lovato has made no secret of her turbulent past, having previously spoken frankly about her struggles with low self-esteem in interviews. Now the pop superstar has admitted that she thought she would die in her early twenties after years of living hard and fast.

The 23-year-old songstress, who is American Way's July cover star, was admitted to rehab in 2010 for treatment for alcohol and drug abuse along with an eating disorder and self-harming. At the height her problems, she feared a meltdown. "I was definitely like, 'Oh crap. In three years, that's going to be me'. I lived fast and I was going to die young," the Skyscraper hitmaker told the publication."I didn't think I would make it to 21."

"So now I'm in rehab and I thought, 'Oh great, now the world thinks I'm just another stereotype.' "

"I thought, 'I'm not in treatment for a drug and alcohol problem,' " she added. "But once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like whack-a-mole."

Lovato said that she developed issues with food after seeing her mother and grandmother both struggling with eating disorders. She explained: "Even though I was 2 or 3-years-old being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating's hard not to grow up like that."

She described her battle with bulimia: "Hopefully my kids won't have it, but it's kind of like addiction. It's hereditary."

Lovato adds that she understands her position as a model and uses her celebrity to help fans also battling demons. "When I have meet-and-greets, I can't tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts," Lovato told American Way. "They'll tell me, 'You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,' or 'I got sober.' Hearing those things gave my life new meaning."