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Drew Barrymore Recalls Traumatic Experience Of Being In A 'Psychiatric Ward' At 13!

Drew Barrymore Talks Traumatic Experience Being In A Psychiatric Ward At 13

She may be the next Ellen DeGeneres, taking over daytime TV with her charisma and kindheartedness, but Drew Barrymore’s path to success hasn’t been easy. In a new episode of Howard Stern’s show, the former child star opened up about her troubled past and reflected on the traumatic (though life changing) year and half she spent in a “full psychiatric ward.”

While rehab stints are unfortunately quite common for Hollywood A-listers looking to repair their health and/or image, Drew’s experience was anything but a cushy, technology-free getaway. In fact, it sounds kind of terrifying. She shared:

“I used to laugh at those like Malibu 30 day places. 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.”

Related: Paris Hilton & Drew Bond Over Their Traumatic Childhoods

Yikes! And she was hardly a teenager when admitted by her mother Jaid Barrymore (a move that tore the two apart for years). Looking back though, the Charlie’s Angels actress understands she was in need of some major help given her access to “too many resources” and reckless behavior. The TV personality explained:

“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.”

One way the facility would stop her outbursts was to force her into a padded room to “cool off.” The performer claimed she’d be left for hours, sometimes with her hands tied behind her back. Sounds truly awful, right?? Well, after decades of therapy, the Santa Clarita Diet executive producer agrees the experience was a bit extreme; however, she knows the discipline helped. During her more reflective moments within the psychiatric ward, she noted:

“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. 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.”

So it’s no shocker she went on to seek emancipation from her mother!

“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. And she didn’t know what to do with the monster.”

Definitely not a “monster” nowadays, The Never Been Kissed lead learned to “forgive her for making this choice” as she mends her broken bond with the former movie star. She’s even come to feel more empathetic for Jaid’s bold decision, sharing:

“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.”

Related: Drew Reimagines Scream To See How Her Character Fares In 2020!

As for why the Golden Globe winner has worked hard to get to a better place with her mom, she expressed:

“I can’t have her feel bad anymore. I’m sure she’s already made the crap out of herself for having a daughter who wouldn’t speak to her. I mean, the pain that I went through from that—I felt so guilty. Denying my mom access to me, it felt like I was cutting off the source of life. It was as hard of a feeling as I’ve ever experienced. Definitely the worst pain I’ve ever known.”

Getting one thing straight, Drew hopes to be a very different parent to her own children, even telling one of her two daughters:

“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.”

Barrymore’s life’s trajectory may have been been aided by her time in the ward, but the actress still struggled post-divorce from Will Kopelman in 2016. With her friends helping pull her back from a dark time, the star finished by speaking of her chosen family:

“I luckily have really great friends who are real ass kickers and who are really honest with me—I’ve always chosen that no bulls**t group.”

Whoa. What do you make of this story, Perezcious readers?

It’s so heartbreaking to think about someone so young facing such dramatic forms of discipline, but at the same time, it’s amazing how Drew’s been able to acknowledge any positive outcomes that may have derived from this situation. But what do U think about her mom’s decision to admit her? Sound OFF in the comments (below)!

[Image via Derrick Salters/LK/WENN]

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Feb 23, 2021 09:50am PDT