drew barrymore on being admitted to psychiatric ward at 13

Drew Barrymore On Being Admitted To Psychiatric Ward At 13 And Going To Therapy For ‘Three Decades’

Drew Barrymore‘s childhood was troubled to say the least. At the young age of 13, Barrymore was placed in a “full psychiatric ward” by her mother for 18 months.

In a new interview with Howard Stern, Barrymore revealed how she “used to laugh at those like Malibu 30 day places.”

drew barrymore on being admitted to psychiatric ward at 13
Image via Instagram

“Malibu was sort of the opposite of the experience I had. I was in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric. And you couldn’t mess around in there and if you did, you would get thrown either in a padded room or get put in stretcher restraints, and tied up.”

Barrymore revealed how her mother, Jaid Barrymore, admitted her to the facility as she was a reckless child star with “too many resources.” 

She admits, “I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom’s car and, you know, I was out of control. So, you know, sometimes it was as humorous as that and sometimes I was just so angry that I would go off and then I’d get thrown in the thing.”

drew barrymore on being admitted to psychiatric ward at 13
Image via Instagram

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The “thing” is a padded room, where she’d be forced to “cool out” for hours on end, while her hands were sometimes even tied behind her back.

While acknowledging it was a severe form of discpline — she also revealed how it was exactly what she needed.

“I asked myself like why is this happening. And I thought, maybe you need the craziest form of structure because everything was so accessible available and screwed up in your world that maybe it’s going to take something like this for you to kickstart the rest of your life,” she explained. “And that didn’t come for probably about six to eight months. The first six to eight months I was just so angry. I couldn’t see straight.”

drew barrymore on being admitted to psychiatric ward at 13
Image via Instagram

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Drew said with time, came understanding. “I think after, you know, 30, years of therapy, and a lot of soul searching and having kids myself, you know, I think she created a monster,” she reflected. And she didn’t know what to do with the monster.”

And thanks to three decades of therapy, Drew was able to “forgive her for making this choice.” The actress said, “She probably felt like she had nowhere to turn. And I’m sure she lived with a lot of guilt for years, about creating the monster but then I think she lived in a lot of pain that I also wouldn’t talk to her for a long time.”

With their relationship in a better place, it has taught Drew a lot about the type of mother she wants to be. She shared, “I said to my own daughter… something came up and I said I’m not your friend. I’ll never be your friend; I’m your mother. And I had a mother who was a friend, and we’re not going to do that.”

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