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"American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi has revealed her painful secret about an eating disorder and her course of treatment.

The award-winning songwriter details her disease, saying, "I had kind of a binge eating disorder where instead of dealing with my emotions, I would stuff them down with food. I never threw up or starved myself."

She continues, "It was an eating disorder. I actually went into a treatment center for it." DioGuardi explains the root of her problem, "It was definitely that excess eating to kind of just stuff all the emotions down and the emotions were that I really was a creative kid who didn't know she was creative and didn't have those outlets because I was always afraid to join the theater group and not perform."

Once DioGuardi figured out how to channel that creativity, she was able to become healthy. She explains, "The moment I started doing music, the moment I did what I loved to do in my life and committed to it, I don't have those problems anymore... I have my outlet." Kara adds, "I have that form of expression. I can go to the studio and talk about my feelings."

The 38-year-old confesses she continues to battle demons in her life, saying, "I had this craziness in my head that I had to be perfect all the time and I face it now on 'Idol' 25 years later where it's kind of, 'Oh god, why did I say that? Why did I do this?' -- but I made this commitment in my life to face my fears and if I am afraid of something I make sure I do it."

DioGuardi wants to spread her message to those who are in treatment. The judge built a recording studio inside Phoenix House, an L.A.-area treatment center helping recovering addicts heal through music. Says Kara, "It's real therapeutic."

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