Drew Barrymore reflects on spending over a year in a psychiatric ward when she was 13 after being 'out of control'

Drew Barrymore reflects on spending over a year in a psychiatric ward when she was 13 after being 'out of control'
Drew Barrymore.Jason Kempin/Getty Images
  • Drew Barrymore reflects on her lowest point during adolescence.
  • "I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom's car...I was out of control," she told Howard Stern.
  • Barrymore said she ended up "in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric."

Long before there was Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton dominating the party circuit in Hollywood there was Drew Barrymore.

And the Golden Globes-winner reflected recently about that tumultuous time in her life, specifically how her mother, Jaid, checked her into a psychiatric ward when she was 13.

"I was in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric," she said Monday in an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show. "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."
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Now 46 years old with two kids, Barrymore is more known for her incredibly impressive filmography and successful daytime talk show, "The Drew Barrymore Show."

But after being a child actor, during her teens she was a fixture in the late 1980s party scene, often found dancing late into the night at the legendary Studio 54 (partying alongside her mother).

"I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom's car and, you know, I was out of control," she said. "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."
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"The thing" she's referring to is Van Nuys Psychiatric where she spent 18 months of her life.

Drew Barrymore reflects on spending over a year in a psychiatric ward when she was 13 after being 'out of control'
Drew Barrymore, circa 1990.Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
"I asked myself like why is this happening?" Barrymore told Stern about how she was feeling at the time. "And I thought, maybe you need the craziest form of structure because everything was so accessibly 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 said. "And that didn't come for probably about six to eight months [after being in the facility,]" Barrymore continued. "The first six to eight months I was just so angry. I couldn't see straight." Barrymore rebounded her life due to "30 years of therapy," she said, and has become one of the few child actor stars that's found a lasting career.
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And after becoming emancipated from her mother when she was 14, Barrymore told Stern that the two are currently in a good place. The actress also said she's the mother she is today because of how Jaid raised her.

"Something came up and I said [to my daughter], '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,'" she told Stern.

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