Johnston: 'My Institution Hell'

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Cult star Daniel Johnston was so misunderstood by his family during his teenage years, he only had to "raise his voice" to be sent to a mental hospital. The troubled songwriter spent five years as a young adult in and out of institutions to treat his lifelong manic depression. But Johnston, the subject of recent documentary THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON, insists his parents often failed to differentiate between a simple upset and a depressive outburst. He says, "I was stuck. I couldn't get out of the system; every time I'd come home, if I got upset and raised my voice a little bit or something, Mom and Dad would say, 'Back to the hospital.' "So the last time I got out, I said, 'Hey, this time I'm going to stay out.' "But I spent almost five years in mental hospitals and it was like a bird in a cage."


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