Drew Barrymore has revealed that she spent 18 months in a "psychiatric ward" when she was 13 years old. The actress revisited those memories Monday on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show."
"I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom's car and, you know, I was out of control," Barrymore explained, via People. She recalled getting "so angry" at times that she would "go off." As a result, Barrymore was placed in a "full psychiatric ward."
"I was in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric and you couldn't mess around in there. If you did, you'd get thrown either in the padded room or get put in stretcher restraints and tied up," she said.
During her stay, Barrymore said there were times when she would act out in anger, which caused an uproar at the facility. "It was like half a kids' facility and half an old persons' place, so as I was riling up these young girls, a woman in a walker would go by. It was hilarious," she claimed.
Looking back, Barrymore said she understood why her mother, Jaid Barrymore, decided to have her institutionalized. "I think she created a monster and she didn't know what to do with the monster," she said. "This was her last gasp, and I really was out of control, and I forgive her for making this choice. She probably felt she had nowhere to turn."
Barrymore has been opened about her strained relationship with her mother, whom she divorced at 14. In an extract from her memoir, "Wildflower," which appeared in The Guardian, Barrymore explained her reasons for parting ways with Jaid.
"It’s no secret that I had to part ways from my mother because we had driven our relationship into the ground," she wrote. "She had lost credibility as a mother by taking me to Studio 54 (so wrong, but so fun) instead of school. And I was out of control due to working since I was 11 months old and what that had done to my childhood, which made me grow up too fast."
Speaking with Stern, Barrymore explained that she and her mother have since reconciled. "I feel goodness toward my mom," she said. "I feel empathy and understanding."
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