By Lara Walsh
Updated Aug 02, 2017 @ 8:45 am

Demi Lovato won't stand for the negative stigmas associated with mental illness.

While sitting down with iHeartRadio for its biweekly podcast, "Label Defiers," the outspoken former Disney alum opened up about her battle with bipolar disorder.

"It's important to speak up about the things you believe in, because your voice will be heard no matter what position you're in," the "Sorry Not Sorry" hitmaker explained when discussing her decision to speak openly about her past struggles with eating disorders and substance abuse. "I just happen to be in a position where more people would hear my voice than they would have 10-15 years ago, so I use my voice to do more than just sing."

VIDEO: Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry

A big part of that is living with her mental illness and combating the shame that surround the "taboo" illness. "I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it's something that's true—I am bipolar—but I don't like people to use it as a label," Lovato admitted. "It's something that I have, it's not who I am."

Instead, she hopes to focus on more positive characterizations—she cites "activist," as an example—and making "honest and real" music that speaks to her fans.

"[Whether] it's in a situation where they need to rise above whatever negativity they have going on in their life or whether it's to get through a heartbreak or whether it's to make a memory to falling in love—I think that it's just important to create music and to be as honest and real about it as possible," she concluded.

Well said, Demi!