Demi Lovato opens up about troubled childhood to Cosmopolitan magazine

Demi Lovato performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday, June 28, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Former Disney starlet Demi Lovato bares more than just her bra in the August issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Always vocal about her troubled past, the X Factor judge explains to Cosmo how her depression began when she was only 7 years old, at the time when made her onscreen debut on kids’ show Barney & Friends.

“Even before Barney, I was suicidal. I was 7. With Barney, I guess subliminally, I did have a relationship with this figure that was saving my life in a way. … I've talked about being bullied and the years of being a teenager, but I went through things when I was younger that I've never talked about that probably caused me to turn out the way I ended up turning out."

Despite her hardships, Lovato finds strength in overcoming her tumultuous childhood and aspires to help others who face similar difficulties.

"I'm not super religious, but I grew up Christian and I believe in God. When I'm in L.A., I don't talk about it that much because people are very judgmental, but I just feel like God gave me a voice, not just to sing with. He put me through those things, which seemed horrible at the time, but they were so worth it. With the obstacles I've overcome, I can help people."

Unfortunately, the star recently had to endure more heartbreak. Lovato’s estranged father passed away last week after a hard-fought battle with cancer, and the singer was present at his funeral on Saturday. Lovato posted messages on Twitter in the wake of her father's funeral:

Now at peace with with her father's death, Lovato founded The Lovato Treatment Scholarship, which will "cover expenses for someone struggling with mental health and/or addiction issues."

Lovato was set to perform with The Roots at Philly's Fourth of July Jam on Thursday, but had to cancel her appearance at the last minute due to strep throat.