Adam Boland opens up on “deep depression.”
Wake Up producer writes a frank disclosure about his illness which adds some much-needed perspective to a personal story that became so public.
Much of the news articles surrounding Wake Up, and specifically Boland’s condition, have been without a complete context. Hopefully this goes some of the way to remedying that.
Writing for TheHoopla, he outlines his diagnosis by Professor Gordon Parker at the Black Dog Institute and the depth of his affliction, and bad decision to “can the drugs” which were part of his recovery.
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.
Boland then notes the diagnosis as “biological melancholic depression” the medical care he received. He thanks his employer for their understanding but also raises concerns about the misunderstanding of mental illness in the wider community and media.
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.
But there is also good news:
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.