Photo: Director of Channel Ten morning television Adam Boland (AAP)
Network Ten’s morning guru Adam Boland has opened up about his battle with depression and says he can’t recall the launch of the station’s new breakfast program.
The man who guided the Seven Network’s Sunrise program to number one in the ratings has taken leave twice since beginning at Ten, the first time just a few days after the new breakfast show Wake Up and morning show Studio 10 launched on November 4.
Ten has only ever said Boland, who was is the director of morning television and responsible for both Wake Up and Studio 10, had taken time off and never revealed why.
But now he’s opened up to Australian website The Hoopla, outlining his ailment under the headline Adam Boland And His Black Dog.
He says his depression has nothing to with Wake Up’s poor ratings.
“To be honest, I have no real memory of what we broadcast that day (Wake Up’s launch),” Boland writes.
“I do however remember crying that afternoon.
“It had nothing to do with critical reviews or audience reaction. In fact, I can’t even isolate a specific trigger.
Boland recalls he had a similar episode many years ago when he launched The Morning Show on Seven, which was an instant success.
“That show debuted at number one and would go on to exceed all predictions,” he recalls.
“But while the staff celebrated at Larry Emdur’s house, their Executive Producer was missing. I was at home, hiding behind a couch in a foetal position.”
Boland says he sought professional help in 2007 from Professor Gordon Parker at the Black Dog Institute who diagnosed him with bipolar.
He says he was also prescribed medication but after six months stopped taking “the pills” and continued with counselling.
After moving to Ten, Boland’s world caved in on Melbourne Cup day and he was taken to hospital.
“That night, the paramedics did what they could to calm me down,” he wrote.
“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.”
Boland returned to work but says he realised within a week he was still in need of professional help and sought out Prof Parker.
He said he was diagnosed with biological melancholic depression and “prescribed a powerful cocktail of drugs, designed to jolt me back to reality. It worked.”
Boland says he no longer feels scared or down and is keen to return to work next week.
He hopes that by opening up about his depression it will bring awareness to a very serious condition.
Boland even took aim at the Studio 10 panel for trivialising the condition of English cricketer Stuart Trott, who returned home after the first Ashes Test because of depression.
“I watched as three panel members on Studio 10 argued with Jessica Rowe over what they considered to be an overused excuse,” Boland wrote.
“Many people with mental illness already feel guilty. That shouldn’t be compounded by the ignorance of others.”
If you or someone you know needs help with depression or other mental health illnesses, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or find out more at beyondblue.org.au.