Speaking out: Adam Boland. Photo: Sasha Woolley
Wake Up executive producer Adam Boland has revealed the depths of the breakdown and depression that struck him after he launched the Ten breakfast show last month.
In a piece published on news and opinion site The Hoopla, Boland writes that although he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2007, the breakdown he 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," he says, under the headline 'Adam Boland and his black dog'.
Three days after the November 4 launch of Wake Up and its sister program Studio 10, Channel Ten announced Boland was taking indefinite sick leave.
Boland briefly returned to work before taking further leave in late November.
He has "no real memory" of what was broadcast on the day the shows launched, he writes.
After spending the day "pacing, rambling and even fitting", he was taken to hospital, after which a two-week period of deep depression began.
In revealing his experiences, Boland writes that he hopes to address public ignorance about mental illness.
"It genuinely saddens me that many people still don't see mental illness in the same way they'd view any other form of sickness," he says.
Those attitudes included a stranger telling him via Twitter to "man up", and even extended to a discussion on Studio 10 that trivialised the condition of English batsman Jonathan Trott.
"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," he writes.
With a diagnosis of biological melancholic depression, Boland writes that he has been prescribed a "powerful cocktail of drugs" that have helped him to feel "normal".
"I'm no longer scared. I'm no longer down. I feel 'normal' and am keen to return to work next week," he writes.
Boland also tells of his regret that he stopped taking drugs he was prescribed after his bipolar diagnosis in 2007, due to the effect on his mind and creativity.
Boland first publicly revealed he had bipolar disorder in an interview with Fairfax Media's Good Weekend magazine in 2008.
The executive producer talked again about his condition with in Fairfax Media's News Review August after he took over the position as Ten's morning TV director.
After debuting with 52,000 viewers, Wake Up's ratings sank to about 27,000 by late November (its Seven and Nine competitors, Sunrise and Today, each pull more than 350,000 viewers, while ABC's News Breakfast draws more then 100,000 across two channels). On November 20, Boland announced the departure of one of the show's three co-hosts, Natasha Exelby, citing poor chemistry.