Drew Barrymore is opening up about her time in a “full psychiatric ward” at age 13.
The actress was placed in the facility by her mother Jaid Barrymore for 18 months because she was a “reckless child star” with “too many resources,” E! News reported.
Barrymore told Howard Stern in a candid new interview, “I used to laugh at those 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.”
The star explained how she ended up in the ward, “I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom’s car and I was out of control. So 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,” referencing the padded room where she’d be forced to “cool out” for hours on end, sometimes with her hands tied behind her back.
Barrymore eventually realized such an extreme form of discipline was what she needed, telling Stern: “I asked myself, 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.”
Barrymore said of her mom, “I think after 30 years of therapy and a lot of soul searching and having kids myself, I think she created a monster. And she didn’t know what to do with the monster.”
She eventually learned to “forgive her for making this choice.”
Barrymore shared, “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.
“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.’
“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.”