In the wake of Demi Moore’s recent hospitalization, insiders are now starting to speak out about the troubled actress’s past few months and her embarrassment over the public spectacle it’s become.

Moore, 49, has never been bashful about showing off her age-defying bikini body, but sources say her obsession with youth had become unhealthy, leading her to party too much and eat too little.

“As Demi got older, she convinced herself that she needed to stay young and skinny to remain attractive to her husband,” says a source who knows the former couple, adding, “She needed reassurance all the time that she was hot and sexy.”

Her husband, of course, is Ashton Kutcher, who’s 16 years her junior. Their marriage fell apart last year when he allegedly cheated on Moore by having a fling with another woman on the eve of their sixth wedding anniversary.

Since then, Moore has seemingly been on a downward spiral, which culminated in her hospitalization on January 23. While her rep claimed she was taking time off to deal with “exhaustion,” the 911 call made by friends — and since released to the media — indicated Moore had smoked something that sent her into seizures.

“Ego-wise, this is the worst thing that could happen to Demi, because she’s such a private person,” a source close to the actress’ circle tells PEOPLE. “She’s embarrassed.”

Friends say since the teachings of Kabbalah, the form of Jewish mysticism that Moore has long studied, dictate adversity can ultimately prove beneficial, it may be a source of comfort for her right now.

Moore’s troubles “can be an opportunity, a blessing, and not a curse,” says the insider. “The right intervention happened in her life. From a spiritual sense, it is a gift. She has a real opportunity to grow from it. She has to take responsibility for her life.”

[PEOPLE]