Demi Lovato has always been very open about her difficult relationship with her long-distance birth father Patrick, who divorced her mother when the singer was two. After Patrick died of cancer in 2013, Demi stated that he had been mentally ill. This song is about how the singer's lack of rapport with her father has contributed to her own issues in relationships:
Lucky for you I got all these daddy issues, what can I do?
I'm going crazy when I'm with you, forgetting all the therapy that I've been through.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Lovato explained:
"'Daddy Issues' is something that I've definitely had with the relationship with my birth father and it affects me to this day, you know, the way that I have relationships with people, so I wanted to write about that because I feel like a lot of people can relate. And so I went into the studio but I wanted it to be up-tempo because I didn't want it to seem like too heavy, it could easily go that way. And so I thought it would be kind of fun to have like an upbeat kind of pop song that's kind of ironic that it would be about such a heavy subject."