Behind her glossy reality-TV persona, Stephanie Pratt has struggled with wide-ranging problems ever since attending the Crossroads School for Arts & Science in Santa Monica, CA.
Pratt, best known for her roles in "The Hills" and the UK's "Made in Chelsea," has detailed some of those struggles in her recently released autobiography, "Made in Reality". She spoke on the matter in this month's edition of New! Magazine.
"I was on the extreme level, and addiction developed instantly," the 29-year-old told New! "[I smoked crystal meth] probably four times before school, then ... probably 12 or 13 times a day."
Despite the stigma tied to her emerging lifestyle, Pratt had no problem rationalizing the addiction.
"I felt confident," Pratt wrote in her new book, according to People Magazine. "I felt like I was a supermodel. I had been so depressed before for so long, and suddenly I felt alive again. I felt so happy."
Led by her brother, Spencer, Pratt's family managed to convince her to attend rehab. That did the trick in terms of her meth use, but other problems persisted — ranging from cocaine to ongoing depression and, eventually, bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which patients self-induce vomiting after eating due to distorted body image perceptions.
"I didn't care about anything," Pratt told New! "I could live or die, I didn't care. I had nothing to get out of bed for. Nothing was exciting."
The worst of it came when Pratt turned 19. She attempted suicide on her birthday. Had it not been for an unexpected visit from her mother, Pratt might not have made it.
A second visit to rehab ultimately cleared up the drug addiction, but bulimia emerged when Pratt joined the cast of "The Hills" in 2007. Progress toward a healthier and sustainable lifestyle has been gradual, but Pratt said she now eats well and works out on a regular basis.
Pratt's experience isn't uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9.4 percent of individuals in the US (ages 12 and up) used illicit drugs in the past month in 2013. Meanwhile, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that as many as 30 million people in the US have some kind of eating disorder.