Admitting you have an eating disorder after living with it for years is no easy task -- but that's exactly what Demi Lovato told Ryan Seacrest in an interview.
The 18-year-old Disney Channel alumna, who said her family had known about her eating issues for six years, has had the words "stay" and "strong" tatooed over self-mutilation scars on her wrists.
Why does it all too often take so long to recognize and deal with a problem such as an eating disorder? Lovato called her situation the "elephant in the room."
It's certainly true that being immersed in an environment that values thinness at a premium probably doesn't help matters much.
But it may also be that people suffering from eating disorders actually tend to cling to them. A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry compared patients' responses to a rapid-response visual test and found that anorexic patients tend to stick to "familiar" behavioral responses more often than healthy subjects do.