March 21 (UPI) -- Demi Lovato says she first contemplated suicide at age seven.
The 25-year-old singer and actress discussed her battle with "loneliness" and "depression" in a preview of Tuesday's episode of Dr. Phil.
"The very first time that I was suicidal was when I was seven," Lovato told host Dr. Phil McGraw. "I had this fascination with death."
"I've experienced things that I've not talked about, and that I don't know if I will ever talk about," she said. "But at seven, I knew that if I were to take my own life, that the pain would end."
Lovato said the thoughts returned "several times," including when she was "bullied" and struggling with depression and bipolar disorder.
"I turned to cutting. There was a while there where my mom was afraid to wake me up in the morning because she didn't know if she opened the door if I would be alive or not," the star said. "Every time I cut it got deeper and deeper."
"It was driven by sadness," she explained. "It was loneliness and depression, and I believe that a lot of that had to do with unresolved issues with my birth father that I hadn't dealt with yet."
Lovato's dad, Patrick Lovato, left the singer and her mom when she was young. Lovato said in a video in 2015 that her song "Father" is about her dad, who died of cancer in June 2013.
"I was very conflicted when he passed because he was abusive," the star said. "He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person. He wanted to have his family."
"He wasn't capable of raising a family because of his mental illness. To know that it wasn't fully his fault really was saddening to me," she added. "I wanted to write about it. I wanted to process it."