Drew Barrymore visited the mental health facility she was placed in as a teen

I know I like some questionable celebrities but I have loved Drew Barrymore since E.T. To me, Drew will always be the little six year-old girl who drank a beer with an alien. Drew’s talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, has been entertaining this last year and I have enjoyed seeing this side of Drew. Drew is very much a quirky Pisces. Her energy sets you at ease and pulls you in. Drew’s show is going into its second season and the first few episodes seems to be filmed in Los Angeles on an open stage. In the first episode, Drew toured Los Angeles. On the tour, Drew visited the mental health institution that she was placed in when she was thirteen years old for eighteen months. In the video, Drew talks about why she makes sure her talk show set is filled with light and fun. However, Drew breaking down, said that she now wants to address or talk about those darker moments without shame. Below are a few more highlights from the video via People:

“I was a real wild child and I just got so out of control that no one knew what to do with me,” Barrymore, 46, tearfully shared. “They drove me here in the middle of the night and they walked me through those two doors and when you go through those two doors you do not come out. And I was there for a year and a half.”

Barrymore has been open in the past about being admitted to Van Nuys Psychiatric Hospital when she was 13 years old for 18 months, detailing moments where those in the facility were thrown in “the padded room” or “put in stretcher restraints and tied up.”

“I think this is important for me to share with people because when they watch our show we have a very beautiful set and I get to dress in nice clothing and get my hair and makeup done and there is an elegance, hopefully, to the show,” the actress said of her talk show. “But I will never lose sight of this part of my story and I have seen and been through things and they’ve helped me just recognize in all of us that we go through stuff.

She continued, “And it can’t be embarrassing. It has to be our strengths, it has to be something that we can be proud of because we overcame it and we look back with honor and humor.”

Barrymore said it was “empowering” to revisit the grounds of the facility after so long, to see how far she’s come and to feel proud of that.

“Life is so wonderful compared to what it was in this place. I can’t even believe I actually get to be where I am now because when I was here I didn’t see that, I thought I would be here forever,” she said as she continued to tear up. “I never thought I was going to make it to somewhere better and I am just so happy with my life and I don’t know if I would have the life I have if it wasn’t for a place like this. So it was so important to come here today and just like honor this.”

[From People]

First, I am horrified that Drew spent 18 months in a mental institution when she was just 13. I am also relieved that the adolescent center no longer exist. It sounds like throwing 13-year-old Drew into a place like that was a form of neglect. I know she said she was a wild child and but putting her in a mental institution for a year and a half sounds abusive. It freaks me out that young women and girls who are being treated this way in our society. It further proves that women are really not allowed control of their own bodies (tangent, I know). This also shines a light on why Drew went off the rails as a teenager and young adult. I knew her childhood wasn’t the best but wow. I am glad Drew has done the work to heal and appreciate her vulnerability in speaking about such a dark time. As you know, I am a huge advocate for high profile people using their platform to speak about mental health issues. My heart goes out to Drew. I teared up when she begin to break down. I am sure going back to that place must have been triggering. I look forward to seeing Drew pulling a lid off these discussions on the new season. In the mean time, I am going to go watch the episode in which the Never Been Kissed cast were reunited.

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9 Responses to “Drew Barrymore visited the mental health facility she was placed in as a teen”

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  1. Ariel says:

    I just read something about her saying that her mother created a monster in her- taking her to parties which started the drinking and then drugs at such a young age, and then by 13, her mother couldn’t control the teen addict she had become.
    Her parents were- not great at being parents.
    The fact that she seems to have come through it all is a great testament to her spirit, and whatever support systems she has had along the way.

    • Meg says:

      Yes her mother enabled this then threw her into this place 24/7 for 1 months at 13? Sounded like her mom was punishing her for not having the results of the quality parenting she didnt provide?I
      Im not a fan but sounds like what paris Hilton’s parents did to her too

  2. Nicole says:

    She and I are about the same age. I’m glad she got a chance to heal. At that time that she was hospitalized she was a full blown out of control drug addict (by her own admission via her autobiography). Fun fact: one of my good friends friends used to go AA meetings with her at the time. I am always rooting for her, and I’m really TRULY happy for her success.

  3. Yup, Me says:

    It’s not just girls/women. I know a man who is just a couple/few years younger than Drew whose parents “didn’t know what to do with him” by the time he was 10/11 so he was involuntarily committed for a period. The stories he’s told me about those times were intense and sound very traumatic.

  4. Meg says:

    I was raised in a toxic home by abusive people. I was told there was something fundamentally wrong with me that I reacted so poorly to their abuse when I developed depression, that I was crazy and needed therapy.
    You can’t function and the abusers are telling you their treatment of you is normal and there just something wrong with you.
    I’ve been no contact for about a decade and after I got my bachelor’s degree I was asked in an interview where do you see yourself in 5 years? And I thought, I didn’t dream past this. The depression developed in my late teens early 20s so I was in college so it affected my ability to complete it. I got choked up on the drive home from that interview because I felt like I had my life before me now, a life I was told I was too ‘crazy’ to ever get to have.
    I’m so glad drew is talking about this, to see you can go through something like that, go no contact with a toxic relative like she has with her mother, and thrive.