Drew Barrymore Returns To Psychiatric Ward Where She Was Held As A Teenager

by : Cameron Frew on : 15 Sep 2021 13:05
Drew Barrymore Returns To Psychiatric Ward Where She Was Held As A Teenager20th Century Studios/PA Images

Drew Barrymore revisited a significant location in her past: the psychiatric ward she was once held as a teenager. 

When the 50 First Dates star was 13 years old, her mother put her in Van Nuys Psychiatric Hospital. Barrymore has been open about the circumstances around her admission, earlier telling Howard Stern she was ‘out of control… I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom’s car’.


‘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,’ she said, referring to the ‘full psychiatric ward’ she once spent 18 months in.

Drew Barrymore looked back on the psychiatric ward with 'honour and humour.' (CBS)CBS

Ahead of the premiere of the second season of The Drew Barrymore Show, the host took a trip round important spots in Los Angeles from her childhood. She soon arrived at the institution, where she became quite emotional.

‘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,’ Barrymore said.


‘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 recognise in all of us that we go through stuff. 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 honour and humour.’

You can watch the full clip below: 

The actor said she ‘hated it… I kicked, I screamed. One minute you’re at movie premieres and clubbing and the next minute you’re in a full-blown institution with barbed wire everywhere and you can’t get out’.


However, she also said she didn’t know ‘if I would have the life I have if it wasn’t for a place like this… I thought I would be here forever – I never thought I was gonna make it to somewhere better’.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Los Angeles, Mental Health, no-article-matching, Now


The Drew Barrymore Show/YouTube
  1. The Drew Barrymore Show/YouTube

    Drew Gets Emotional During Intimate Tour of LA Including Institution Where She Stayed