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Wake Up's Adam Boland Talks Openly About Depression

NewsKevin Perry
Adam Boland

Adam Boland

The Ten Networks Director of Morning Television Adam Boland has opened up publicly for the first time about his health breakdowns whilst producing the launch of TEN’s new breakfast show Wake Up.

Writing for TheHoopla, he outlines the full extent of his breakdown and diagnosis by Professor Gordon Parker of the Black Dog Institute.

The breakdown I suffered last month was worse than anything I’d experienced. It involved police, an ambulance and time confined to a ward that I never want to see again. (For the record, I think the concept of locking up someone whose mind already feels trapped does nothing to help. I have an uncle with schizophrenia and I accept that sometimes forced intervention is necessary. In my case, the sole sound of a ticking clock only made matters worse.)

All of this unfolded late on Tuesday night. It was Melbourne Cup day but for me, the only thing racing was my mind. I lost focus and perspective. My new partner watched me in the studio control room that morning and thought I had no control at all. He was right. He took me home as soon as the show was over. I then spent the day pacing, rambling and even fitting.

That night, the paramedics did what they could to calm me down. It wasn’t their fault, but some of their actions backfired. By the time we reached hospital, the bright lights were hurting my head and I had no sense of where I was or why.

That was the start of two weeks of deep depression. The anxiety attacks were daily – in fact, sometimes hourly. They were also exhausting – but sleep wasn’t an option.

This happened at the precise time my show needed its leader. My partner tried his best to keep me away from social media and wayward headlines. When I did see them, I felt a deep sense of guilt. I would scream “I need to be at work” before again landing on the floor. I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I would move from the couch to the bed to the floor and then back again.

I received a tweet from someone I have never met telling me to “man up”. Even worse, one of my own shows trivialised the condition of English cricketer Jonathan Trott. I watched as three panel members on Studio 10 argued with Jessica Rowe over what they considered to be an overused excuse. These are people I respect. Intelligent people. It struck me then that we have much to do. And when I say us – I especially mean the media.

Another visit to Gordon Parker soon followed. He was now much more worried and recommended time in hospital. Given my last experience, I refused. I instead placed a heavy burden on both my new and former partner – who worked as a team to medicate and care for me. Professor Parker described my condition as biological melancholic depression and prescribed a powerful cocktail of drugs, designed to jolt me back to reality.

I’m no longer scared. I’m no longer down. I feel “normal” and am keen to return to work next week. I have a clear head about where I want to take the show (more newsy, for those interested) and most of all, I again have perspective.

Read the Article in full at The Hoola

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