adam-boland-5

ADAM BOLAND AND HIS BLACK DOG

In tonight’s Australian Story, TV executive Adam Boland will talk about his struggle with mental illness and how he contemplated suicidal thoughts following his much-publicised breakdown following the launch of Channel Ten’s Wake Up and Studio 10.

Back in December, Boland wrote for The Hoopla in an attempt to raise awareness and change attitudes around mental illness. Ahead of tonight’s program, we’re re-running his moving story to continue the discussion.

Here’s what he wrote on 9 December 2013:

 

Across the years, media writers have called me everything from “television’s morning maestro” to a “wunderkind”. Lazy tags which masked what I knew to be true.

At the ...

Want to continue reading?

  • THE DAY PASS -

    $0.99 the-day-pass

    Want to try The Hoopla but not sure what to commit to? How about the clever little Day pass which means you can just pay as you go!

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Zero ongoing commitment
    • Expires after 24 hrs

    Subscribe Now
  • THE MONTHLY -

    $9.99 the-monthly

    Only $0.33 per day with the flexibility of automated month-to-month payments.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Automatically Billed Monthly
    • Cancel Anytime

    Subscribe Now
  • THE QUARTERLY -

    $29.99 the-quarterly

    Subscribe to The Hoopla quarterly and you’ll get all the benefits of a Hoopla subscription with the added simplicity of only paying every three months.
    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Automated Payments every quarter
    • Cancel Anytime

    Subscribe Now
  • THE ANNUAL -

    $75 the-annual

    Get a year's worth of The Hoopla at a discount with our special launch package.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Easy Yearly Payment
    • Save 37% - was $120 now only $75

    Subscribe Now
Or login to your account

117 Comments

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Mick

    Thanks so much for this, Adam. I have a relative who refuses to get help, and who needs to read and understand what you have said here. To understand that this condition can’t be defeated by the person carrying it, is the first hurdle, and I feel you have hi-lighted that aspect here.
    Thanks again, and good luck to yourself with your stand against the dog!!
    Cheers
    Mick

    • Reply December 10, 2013

      Wendy McIntosh

      Adam, very touched by your story thanks for putting it out there. I conduct raining on mental illness / breaking down the stigma in organisations and I keep hearing from folks how important it is to break the silence that still exists in terms of having a mental illness. When we as a community get interested, start talking, be curious and show compassion i belief great things can happen. In appreciation Wendy

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    My goodness, Adam Boland!!
    Hats off you you!
    To speak about mental illness in this way – as one at the highest level of management in the media?
    All of us owe you a great debt for speaking your truth so plainly and unvarnished.
    Thank you. Sincerely.
    Wendy Harmer

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Georgina Dent

    Adam
    Thank you for being so open and honest about your mental illness. It takes tremendous strength to admit – even to the people closest to you – that you aren’t coping. Let alone sharing it with the world, let alone sharing it in your position: under the glare that comes with being the executive producer of a new breakfast program. I am thrilled that your work, your partner and Dr Parker have been so supportive of you on the road to recovery.
    Georgie

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Jane Caro

    Great article, Adam.
    A privilege to read it.
    Lots of love to you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Mrs Woog

    Dear Adam,

    Thank you so much for writing this. Everyone needs to stop pussyfooting around the topic. I see so many brave writers and creative folk sharing their stories and the more that we do, the better off we will all be. Employers, suffered, partners, Families. When I am dipping, I let the whole goddam world know about it.

    And there is absolutely no shame to any of it.

    Man up? Piss off.

    Much love to you

    x

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    maria Farmer

    Honest to the letter. Your truth will keep you safe. MF

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    miranda

    Thanks from me too Adam. Wishing you well for your return to work and further tinkering on the show.
    PS Sounds like a bit of an issue when there’s a two-month wait to see a psychiatrist even in an emergency.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    julia

    Thank you for writing this Adam. Your courage and ability to share will help so many and be one of the steps to having Bipolar – and all mental/emotional health issues – normalised and understood in our society. In no way should you feel guilt or shame….only gratitude perhaps for the good people you have to support you – including the Black Dog Institute.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    bigwords

    It’s people writing, talking and sharing their experiences with others which will ultimately help change perceptions about mental illness. Thank you for sharing yours.

    Much love,
    Bianca xx

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Travis Butler

    Thank you very much Adam for sharing your story. Very thankful for your honesty and openness, but most of all, very thankful for you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Louisa

    Adam, sincere thanks for sharing your story. I too shared my mental illness story 12 months ago. I gained so much from telling my story, and I realised that by keeping it a secret for most of my life I had been contributing to the stigma. I wish you well dear Adam, please be kind to yourself.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Emily

    Thank you for sharing this Adam, I have boundless respect for your courage and your eloquent honesty.
    The very best of luck for the future.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Rachel Retro

    Thanks for sharing your story Adam.
    I have severe generalised anxiety disorder and it can be crippling.
    I believe the more people talk, the better. I sometimes feel like I am the only one that feels the way I do. There are lots of people suffering in silence and by telling people about your experiences may help someone in need :)

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Lindsay

    Hi Adam, as someone who also works in the media and was diagnosed with melancholic depression at the beginning of this year, I want to thank you sincerely for this article. It is often very hard to describe the utter bleakness and loss of control you suffer with this condition, let alone try to make people understand. Your story will have done untold good to so many people, both with the illness, those who care for them and those whose compassion and understanding is desperately needed. Thank you and best wishes to you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Heather

    Adam, i thank you for sharing your story with the public, I can only imagine what you have endured and encourage you to keep going man, Stay the course of professional guidance and be kind to yourself – you are obviously an incredible individual who is much loved by those around him. My wish for you is peace, happiness and good health.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Josh

    Adam, thanks for posting this, every bit helps with educating our community about mental illness.
    All the best with the treatment plan and getting help when you need it.
    J

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    mitch bailey

    the first thing is its nothing to be ashamed of and as you say if you haven’t suffered then its an extremely hard condition to explain . spike Milligan { google ..Nothiness} said he would of gladly traded all his success and talent to just feel normal. However many great achievements were only possible through mental illness .
    Adam have another look at the Aviator { Howard Hughs} it comes close…..throughout history great prophets depressive episodes have been written about …so you would say the condition has been around for a while and personally i believe if its wasnt useful then depression would of be wiped out of the gene pool ….
    as a fellow sufferer adam i’m sending my absolute respect and love to you and a recovery at your own pace….big hugs mitch

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    ro.watson

    Yip~ some of us know how topsy turvy our experience of life can be? I agree Adam about a responsible approach to our own mental health and bugger off those who would stigmatize our reactive ways. Going to hospital is not always generative of healing~ more like shove them in a corner and make the problem/person go away for a while~ and the person who has been taken to hospital gets loaded with drugs by professionals who have never met them before~ and the patient’s friends get scared about what they can “handle”? Bottom line is what, as a “patient”, you can handle? Is it right for you?

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Judy

    Adam I am feeling very proud of you for opening up to us on your health issues. If only more folk could speak out and seek help so families don’t have to go through what we did as a family 7 years ago when one of our family decided that his life wasn’t worth living. May you continue to go forward. Sending love and thanking you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    julie

    Bless you Adam for being brave enough to tell your story, As a psychologist (who has also experienced clinical depression) I have found so many people who need some form of chemical reboot of the brain. It’s simply not possible to ‘pull yourself together’ as some seem to think.
    I’m also so glad your partners were able to help you. I’ve just spent the day helping a family learn to live with a mother who is suffering a similar condition to yours. It’s hell for you, and also incredibly difficult for those who love you.
    Hang in there. There are others with similar conditions who have learned to ask for help on twitter when they need it. I hope we can all support you to continue your terrific work.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Siobhan Hannan

    Adam, your bold and honest disclosure will make it so much easier for so many people to tell someone about their own despair and anxiety. It will make it so much easier for friends, colleagues and partners to start to imagine what it is like to live with a mental illness, and to imagine that they can assist the people they care for when needed. You are not alone and you’ve let others know that they are not alone. I wish you well in your recovery.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Meg Lindley

    Hats off to you Adam Boland. Its about time we were open and honest about mental illness. I lost a brother through suicide and hate how everything is brushed under the carpet. Lets talk about it, get rid of the stigma of mental illness. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, we are here to help each other. By the way your shows are fantastic.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Sheilah

    Adam

    Thank you for your letter. I cannot walk in your shoes but can I say thank you for letting me walk next to your shoes in relation to your experience. Once again thank you for letting us in to your dark room.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    ro.watson

    Of course, personal/social/professional support is helpful. Let us not kid ourselves that psychotropic medications offer a magic bullet~ this is still a subtle and developing area of medicine?

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Louise

    Thank you Adam for sharing your story. It is so important that more people speak out about mental illness. You are not alone and your honesty is appreciated. Thank you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    lizzie

    Nice poster here about what if we treated every physical illness like we treat mental illness – http://transcendentalafterglow.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/wpid-555314_10100104517368350_19908660_39003876_1608337836_n-11.jpg

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Marian

    Thank you, Adam. It’s sad that we still think it’s ‘brave’ to be up front about mental illness – shows how far we have to go. We would never say someone was ‘brave’ for telling us they had a broken leg, would we?

    On a personal note, you’ve given me the courage to stop settling for the idea I’ll never be ‘normal’. I’ll be having a talk with my psychiatrist this week. Thank you again.

    • Reply December 10, 2013

      hkchristine1

      Unfortunately, in my family experience, mental illness is so far removed from the symptoms and outcomes of a broken leg that I am confused as to why many people keep on insisting we view psychological illness in the same way as physical ones. I do understand the intention is to reduce the terrible stigma attached to any psychological problem but from there the conditions are very different. When my family member went in and out of stages of illness she was abusive, frightening, violent and cruel…and very sad and hurt…not her fault I know- but extremely damaging for her children and husband. I completely respect Adam’s beautifully written article, and felt some of the pain and fear it expressed. My family member never had the diagnosis or medication that may have helped her and others to cope- but due to the very nature of this ‘ black dog’ I really don’t see how we can normalise it or equate it with ‘a broken leg’ or similiar physical problem. A broken leg does not result in rage, delusions, wild mood swings, verbal or physical attacks on others…it’s painful to look at the whole picture- but let’s not blur the edges of this picture- it doesn’t help us to face the full import of treatment needs for the individual and society.

      • Reply April 9, 2014

        FF Jensen

        I object to the use of the word “psychological” in your otherwise carefully worded comment. Bipolar people experience changes in brain chemistry, sometimes in response to stress, their circadian curves, the seasons, and/or all of the above.
        A broken leg can be the result of an accident, or in the worst of cases rampant osteoporosis. Bipolar disorder is biological in nature. Bipolar people also have their personalities, core values and IQs.
        I’m very sorry to hear that your family member refuses to get properly diagnosed and treated, but not all bipolar people are the same. Again, I repeat: not all bipolar people are the same. Maybe your family member isn’t bipolar. Don’t jump the gun and do a bit of fact-checking. There are plenty of resources you can use for that. Good luck!

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Cath

    Adam I too have bipolar and have been in the terrible places you mention. When I medicated I know that it brings back balance to life but the trade off is in creativity and clarity of thought. My best writing is done in moments of mania and to voluntarily crush that spark with medication is only accepted by me because I understand that if I continue with the imbalance I shall probably take my life.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    RP01

    Adam, your openness means so much to me. I am in my late 20′s with bipolar and due to the stigma I keep it to myself. Having prominent people open the door to discussion means a lot. I understand how you feel and your frustrations (what is with the breathing thing? I could never get that right). The system hurts as much as it helps and we are far from a treatment for bipolar that doesn’t leave the sufferer traumatised. I don’t know if it gets better, just know you are not alone and to set an example for the rest of us bipolar people all you have to do is keep living and trying and keep speaking about it. That’s it. No pressure of huge success, just trying is enough. Thank you for what you have done.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Jacqui Manning- The Friendly Psychologist

    Bravo Adam! The world needs more people like you. My gorgeous dad has bipolar and mental illness has always been on my radar because of that, and I work with clients to combat anxiety, but the ignorance out there still astounds me and you’re right, there is much work to be done. e.g. insurance companies won’t cover people for anything (e.g. breaking a leg) if they have a history of depression or some other mental illness.

    I have clients who won’t put their sessions through Medicare or health insurance, even if they’re entitled, because of this reason and generally being worried about being ‘found out’.

    If I had a dollar for everyone who sat on my couch and thought they were the only ones with the problem (because no one talks about it, admits to it or gives a real picture of what it’s like, like you just have), well let’s just say I wouldn’t have to work!! :)

    Thanks so much and I hope next week brings a sense of lightness and joy with the show again – great work with Studio 10 by the way, focusing on just these issues.

    Jacqui Manning aka The Friendly Psychologist

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Dawn Barker

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a psychiatrist, I feel so strongly about the need for prominent people to speak up about mental illness to decrease the shame and stigma that sadly still exists. We don’t tell people with diabetes to ‘man up’ and having a mental illness is no different.
    Wishing you all the best.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Angela Mollard

    Wow Adam. In the midst of your own pain you find the wherewithal to share your story with others. A compelling and important read. Thank you.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Robin

    Thank you Adam for your brave contribution to a situation that many face but few feel they can voice. It’s people like you who effect change for many. I wish you the very best and I’m proud that our industry has such great people in positions of influence.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Louise G

    Thank you thank you thank you, for your courage in sharing your story- you are helping break down the very stigmas you speak of, paving the way for others to follow. I too was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2007 at the Black Dog Institute. The dx was life changing. There have been numerous ups and downs along the way but finally it all made sense. Melancholic depression is a dangerous, dark beast. It is unlike any other as far as severity and impact. To seek help once in that space isn’t possible, & it’s the wonderful support network around you that counts the most at that time. Please keep on keeping on, keep doing what you do best- creating interesting programming- & know that you have an army of supporters barracking for your success- not just professionally but personally.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Julie

    Adam, thank you for sharing your experience. Like you I have bipolar disorder which has affected me since a very early age. – probably 11yo. I agree with all you say about society’s

    need for education regarding mental health. Education explaining that it is a sickness of the brain. Yet I know even myself that I would hide it from an employer. I studied Pharmacy at university which is where I had my first major depressive episode. It still amazes me that I past my final exams and received my degree in Pharmacy. All the best for your future.
    Julie

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Margaret Leigh

    Thankyou Adam for airing your story. Some people who don’t believe we mere mortals may take more notice of your story as you are ‘known’ by your job etc. I suffer from depression and have done so for many years and am very annoyed when some of my friends say ‘we all have down days – get over it’ They just don’t understand. All the best to you. I also saw that show wish Jessica Rowe and really felt for her trying to get her theory across but not being allowed to by those overtalking her.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Anne

    Thanks Adam. You will have helped a lot of people by telling your story. I have a family member struggling through their first year of hospital admissions due to severe mania and severe depressive episodes. (They have lived most of their life without landing in hospital). Their description of being in hospital when severely depressed mirrors your description. I have seen people recover from Bipolar episodes. Lots of love and thanks. x

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    fiona westall

    brave , brave , brave boy …well done , a perfect example of how to “man up” …courage and strength to you although it would appear you are not short on either of those !Speaking the truth….often the conquerer of all evils!

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Nel Matheson

    The part of your message that resonated with me is why people cannot see mental sickness the way we view physical sickness.
    It’s not a weakness when diagnosed with a severe physical illness, people are concerned and supportive and caring.
    When a mental sickness is diagnosed, there is often an attitude of – buck up, get on with it, pull yourself together or much worse, friends disappearing altogether.
    We all need to work a little harder to overcome these societal attitudes, and care for our friends and family a little more when they need us most.
    Thank you for sharing your story, Adam. The more we know about mental sickness, and the better informed we all are, the sooner we will be able to empathise and help where we can.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Julie

    On the outside it would appear you’re living the life of Riley, but it’s never that simple is it. I hope you continue the great work you’re destined to do and your health stays manageable. And what a great wake-up call for most of your on air team & others, that some peoples battles are excruciating & if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Everyone’s learnt a little bit today. Good luck Adam, wish you all the best

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Lillie

    Adam, you are HANDS DOWN one of the most courageous people I have ever come across. I know the TV industry, I have worked in and out of it for years and I know what a hard industry it is, so for you to be this honest about your personal experience? Wow, I take my hat off to you. I wish you nothing but the best with a full recovery and a successful career. x

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Nicole Webb

    Wow Adam. Good on you for speaking out. Your courageous act, I’m sure, will only serve to help others in a similar position; and hopefully keep the light shining on what is clearly a disease that still needs as much of the public spotlight as possible. Cheers to you. xx

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Wee Birdy

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Adam. Hope you continue to feel better – and stronger in yourself. Glad the meds are working!

    In the meantime, I feel very strongly about the way in which mental health emergencies are dealt with by our public health system.

    Public hospital emergency resources are already stretched to the limit, but the current way of dealing with someone having a mental health crisis is nothing short of Dickensian-era bedlam. And even if someone has private health insurance, the first step in getting help is to (usually) go through public hospital emergency.

    Things need to change. I’ve seen too much unnecessary suffering because the public health system has little understanding – or caring procedures in place – to deal with people having emergency anxiety/depression/mood disorder attacks.

    These kind of conditions need to be dealt with differently – and separately – from patients having drug overdoses or schizophrenic episodes.

    It seems that the only option is to go into some kind of ward where people with manifestly different mental health issues are lumped together. It’s hardly the best environment for people having an acute depressive/anxiety episode. Mental health staff professionals sometimes advise people in this situation to stay at home, putting the burden of care on friends and family. Surely there is another way?

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Kes from Central Vic

    Oh Adam, you have been through hell and back.I am also Bipolar,13 years now.I’m 46.I’m going to talk plain.It can be so scary,I know.Stay on yr meds.It is the only way to have any control over yr illness,and what an illness it is.Don’t worry about what other non informed people say.Read up,very important and be kind to yourself.It took me 6 years to find the balance and you can also find this with being educated on yr diagnosis,taking yr medication and realizing that the illness is the beast,not you,you are still in there.Finding strength each day to tackle the world is not always easy,but with routine and help from loved one’s, you will find the balance. I will give a little tip that most would not and will probably frown upon, have valium with you always.Why I say this without looking like a drug peddler….10mg will save that horrible trip to ER as it will relax your thinking and calm things so that you can start to feel clear if you are having an episode and before you can get to see yr mental health specialist. I wish you every happiness and remember, we function so hard, we must be kind to ourselves, take good care Adam, Kes

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Kaylie

    Adam, thank you for sharing your story. I have recently been diagnosed with depression and panic anxiety disorder which was initially hard to come to terms with. After opening up to a few close friends, I realise that it is okay to feel helpless and it is okay to admit that you need help. This shouldn’t be frowned upon at all. I use to be only able to see pitch black at the end of the tunnel but although it is still quite dim, I know with the help I am getting and the meds I am on, as time goes by, it’ll be dimmer.
    Your honesty is very brave and touching.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Tony

    Whether you are the anointed King of morning television or otherwise, I consider the above article one of your greatest successes.
    Well done. Not only are your words brave but confronting.
    Good luck with the fight and good luck fighting the tv war

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Wil

    Hey Adam,

    I come from a mirror stable to yours. My Dad was seriously bipolar, my youngest sister clinically schizophrenic; I lucked out on what is clearly a very blurry genetic line.

    Your mention of personal “creativity” really struck a chord. I have an IQ of 142, through no fault of my own. I am a creative & technical genius, by all accounts. But I also know that I teeter safely (so far) on the edge of what was the demise of my Dad & sister. There is no doubt in my mind that we have yet to comprehend how a “brilliant mind” actually comes to be, or how it can be influenced to produce exceptional behaviour (good or bad). Until we do so, we will continue to see innocent geniuses ostricised by the unknowing public.

    A truly fascinating, selfless article. Wishing you only the best from here onward.

    Bill

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Emily Rose

    Adam, this article is amazing. It is a very blunt and honest piece. My only regret is you’ve left out the importance of continual care. For some people it takes much more than new medication. In some ways I am inspired that you got back on track so quickly, but I wish it didn’t seem to advertise meds as being a quick fix so much. I wish you the best of luck with your path of recovery and your career!

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    PJ

    It’s hard finding out . No one I know knows nor will they that I was on medications for BP . I decided to go off them only after a couple of months . I didn’t like who I was on them . Iv learnt to live with it . Turnes out iv had it all my life . And will . It’s part of who I am . And I will never change . Iv accepted that . My friends know I’m BP and know when I’m in my BP times . Some say I’m mad for not taking any . But it’s part of me . And with all the other things iv had wrong HIV hep c. Cancer brain anerisam . I figger it’s life . It’s my mind . Suck it up push your self PJ and live best you can . There are times I wish it was over . But the surviver part kicks in . Makes me get up and do something no mater how hard it is . I have to keep fighting . The alternative is worse .
    Not everyone’s the same . And I get sick and I get over it ( as I put it Hay my life MY RULES)

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Matthew

    Your bravery and honesty are the true definition of leadership.
    To be ones self in the face of ignorance is life’s toughest challenge.

    Bravo!

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Sarah

    My daughter is bipolar and very creative. As a teen she is still vulnerable but has so much to offer. The fierceness of the moods is awful and clearly biological. I know how your partner would struggle.
    We have to be patient while my daughter gets to the end of adolescence. She has been fantastic though. But I recognize that dog tirednes. It would be great if the fun up moods could be permanent but usually turns bad. Stress does it. I hope you can get back to the calmer waters.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Cherylanne

    I love this piece of spoken word poetry. “10 reaponses to th Fraser man up” http://youtu.be/QFoBaTkPgco

    It sounds like both your partners are fabulous supportive people. A network can be the most important thing. Best of luck in the future!

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Carole

    Such a brave admission from you Adam. My heart goes out to you for your recovery, which those with mental health issues know is a life’s work. My sincere thanks to you also for bringing some much needed, and high profile, attention to this issue. You should be nothing other than commended. Let’s smash these tiresome taboos!

  • […] writing in The Hoopla, has revealed that he is now staying on medication prescribed by Professor Gordon Parker at the […]

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    steve

    Adam – Brave and I highly commend you but perhaps foolhardy in this world. I am a fellow sufferer. What I hate is the fantastic creative episodes where everybody encourages you. These make the down side so bleak. I hate that I know and understand (academically) both episodes but the dark side is far more compelling and sways all good intentions to the detriment of all. In the end no one has the energy to deal with extended periods of the highs and lows.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Christine McLachlan

    I would like to share a book for those who might like to explore the avenue of healing without pharmaceutical drugs. They may work for some but not for everyone…..this brilliant man…William J Walsh, PhD has written ‘Nutrient Power’ about healing your biochemistry and has a list of doctors who support his work including Australia.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Lucia

    Thank you for your courage in writing and having this piece published.
    I am not bipolar, but have had periods of deep depression. Being depressed is bad enough, but what is even worse is the shame and guilt I felt about the depression. By all standards, I have so much to feel great about, but I just didn’t. Because of this, I felt there was no one in my circle, apart from my husband, that I could tell about my condition. Even my mother dismissed it, telling me to snap out of it. My poor husband has soldiered on and gives me the most amazing love and support, which helps keep that black dog at bay.
    All the best to you.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Michelle

    Good on you Adam, it takes a strong person to tell their own personal journey.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Karen Balstrup Baxter

    I lost my marriage. He was in the media and overworked. He wouldn’t let me be part of his treatment. He just told everyone it was a bad marriage and dismissed me. The more we learn how to get on top of this and help our loved ones the better. My family is a mess. We should have helped him and all stayed together.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    wild colonial girl

    Wonderful article, and great to hear such an honest account. Something struck me. I’m sure the doctors have taken this into account, but on both morning shows you had to wake up to work very early in the morning, disrupting your sleep cycle.. Do you think this could set you off too? I know it can send me into a spiral if I wake up before it’s light…

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Michael

    Thank you for your honesty and courage in revealing your story Adam. I have found it helpful for my own journey, so thank you. Best wishes for your recovery and the future
    Michael, Adelaide

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Judith Rubbish

    Adam, I am not a “morning tv” person, and forgive me, but I have not heard of you and was not aware of the experience you went through recently until reading your article. I don’t comment on Hoopla very often, in fact, I can’t remember when I last did. After reading this, I felt compelled to say something… What an amazing person you are. This is one of the most honest accounts I have ever read, this article should be compulsory reading for everyone! Good on you, so brave, all the best with your show, I may start tuning in!

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Cass O'Connor

    Adam,

    You seem to have just given a whole world of people the permission to discuss mental illness more openly. What a gutsy gift-giver are you. Thank you, I hope all the comments here show the tide of support you have.

    Very best,

    Cass O’Connor.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    leigh

    Good on you Adam. I have suffered depression at work and know how hard it is. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Reply December 10, 2013

      Wendy

      Hi Adam. I can’t express my admiration for you as eloquently as the people who’ve already written such heart felt and thoughtful comments. I suffer from depression and have had a breakdown that made it impossible seemingly impossible to return to work. Like you I was lucky to have a supportive employer and colleagues who made my return very smooth. I recall the faces of many people light up when I reappeared after my “mystery” absence…people who I hadn’t realized had obvious affection for me. That was a lovely eye opener. I’m not a public figure but like you I have made an effort to share my experience with people I think could benefit. As someone who has been widely regarded as strong, confident and capable in the workplace they are always surprised and then encouraged by my story. Along side the stigma of mental illness I also get very frustrated by the stigma of medication. I personally thank the universe for my medication every day. XXX

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Bridget

    I understand this at such a deep level. Bless you for your recovery Adam. Would love to discuss the ways I have observed to make a significant contribution to the healing and treatment of those who suffer from mental illness…
    http://www.madamebovardia.com.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Lynne

    Thank you Adam. It takes a lot of courage but because of people like you lives will be saved in the future. Can’t wait for a time when people have a ‘meal roster’ when a parent has mental illness like they do for physical illness. It will be a sign of acceptance…

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Georgia

    I think your honesty on this matter is just fantastic. Go you. As someone who works for a psychiatrist I know people are crying out just for the rest of us to know how hard they are trying to get through this-and I see how hard they try. I would only ask that you clear up your ‘two month wait’ for a psychiatrist as there are many clinics and hospitals with psychiatrists ready to take people on…do you mean your own psychiatrist?

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Penny

    Thank you Adam.
    Each story told about depression lessens stigma and increases understanding. So brave and generous to share your private life in this way. Best wishes.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Annie Also

    Thank you for sharing your experience Adam.

    And thank you to all the comments here. Amazingly supportive, amazingly brave and important.

    Thank you all.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Jeanette

    Adam, you are very courageous to share your story and I admire you for it greatly. I am bipolar and inherited if from both my parents. I have also shared my story on my blog, looking at the ‘manic’ side in a humorous way. You might see some light from this. I’ve been happily medicated for 27 years :) Good luck for the future!
    http://themanicactivist.com/2013/09/15/wheres-the-party/

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Kathryn

    Referring to depression as “the black dog” does nothing to help people see it in the same category as other serious illnesses. Also, I never hear people say they “suffer from cancer” like people say they “suffer from depression”. They have cancer. Its much more black and white, easier for other people to understand. So instead of “suffering from the black dog” (what does this even mean to someone who doesn’t have depression??) maybe a way to help others comprehend the seriousness would be to start referring to it in the same way as other serious illnesses. I have depression.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Congratulations

    Adam, 3 months ago I was diagnosed with bi-polar2. The manic energy and free flowing thoughts that had been my secret weapon in a highly successful career started to become my enemy, not my friend.

    My husband was over the moods and my 3 kids were dealing with a daily luckydip of what version of their mum they would get. I’m still struggling to find a medication to suit that doesnt make me feel like I am wading through cement and grasping for the quick fire thoughts that allowed me to do twice as much as my colleagues.

    It’s funny how many ‘people like us’ turn out to be ‘people like us’. I still havent had the courage to ‘come out’ to many friends and certainly not to work. But I am tracking my moods daily, keeping the sleep absolutely regular and my husband is now an ally in my treatment, not someone I try and hide my moods from. The fact that it’s strongly hereditary breaks my heart- i’m not sure I would have brought 3 people into the world if I knew that this was what was in store for them. but we push on. Uphill.

    Good luck- you are brave, and as my great psychiatrist said once- don’t ever confuse your moods with your personality or your intelligence. They are not the same thing.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Aeron Winters

    Thank you for sharing your story in such an honest and open manner Adam. Mental illness touches so many. Only with support and honesty can it be dealt with. There is no shame. It is an illness like any other. All the best for your future.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    ro.watson

    As I understand it~ there are at least two different kinds of bipolar conditions~ what used to be called manic depression~ one with psychotic symptoms, and one without psychosis?

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Christine Bailey

    I too suffer depression have done for over 9 years. And my 22 yo son hasd just been diagnosed with a anxiety disorder.
    Today is a bad day for me.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Sandy Gandhi

    Blessed be the cracked, coz they let in the light – and courageous to boot, good for you Mr Adam Boland.
    Namaste,
    Sandy Gandhi of Byron Bay, Australia’s most Easterly Indian -and confirmed crazy person!

  • […] Read Adam’s piece here. […]

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    ro.watson

    Ha Sandy. Namaste. I like that phrase” blessed be the cracked, because they let in the light”. Greetings from a Western edge, Indian Ocean side. Speaking for myself, I can be crazy sometimes, but not all the time.x.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    ro.watson

    I am on one of the Western edges of the Australian continent, but on the Eastern edge of the Indian Ocean. It all depends on position and orientation.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Nicole

    Thank you and best wishes for a continued successful recovery.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Gary

    Hey Adam, glad you’re still here and know that things will only get better. As someone who also suffers, it inspires me that you don’t give up on aspirations.

    Take care everybody!

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Rosemary Narhi

    Thank you for your courage. You took a step on behalf of those who can’t. Now they can use your example as conversation starters with others who don’t understand because they haven’t had this touch their lives.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Freddy Gulino

    Adam, I’ll be honest and say that I had never heard of you before reading your story, but please don’t take offense. I’m now, however, very grateful to know who you are as a real person, and not just as someone who works in the media, or who enforces the stigma of mental illness.
    Since I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression and PTSD late last year, after living with the undiagnosed symptoms since the mid 80′s, I actually look forward to meeting more people with a mental illness; to support them, and to remind them they’re not alone, because I know I’m also not alone with them around. I openly talk about my mental illness with others, to help raise awareness, and I commend you immensely for speaking out about your bipolar.
    I’m sorry to know you experienced such darkness in your bipolar episodes, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned to embrace while living with a mental illness is that there are more positives than we believe in negative circumstances. You’ve made your negative experiences take a positive step in the right direction to smash the mental illness stigma, and raise even more awareness! Remember, you’re never alone.
    Wishing you many years of light and success in your health and career.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Angela Eagle Waves

    Dear Adam, how privileged are we to hear your words. Thank you. Its a fine line we all walk and being compassionate to others shouldn’t be so rare I think. Your openness in sharing this part of your life is appreciated and valued, and I hope helpful to you personally. I know I’m slightly biased, but I love the new shows, especially Studio10! All beginnings are tough but Im sure the world of media is especially challenging when you add the pressure of your list of achievements. As you can see, there are many people in your corner, I hope that helps :)

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Abby

    Adam Boland – what a gem. Too many wonderful men I know feel unable or unsure of the response they will receive if they divulge their battle with mental illness. You are more of a man for doing so than those “well meaning”types who want to suggest you “man up”

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Justine May

    Such a great story to read, helps put so much in perspective for me, and highlights how important being open about it is for both the patient and support people. Brave beyond reproach Adam, I hope those suffering here your message and seek the right help, are honest with their loved ones, and trust in the people that love them to be there.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Michaela

    Nice piece Adam. Like you, I tried being medication-free but it didn’t work. Public disclosure brings more challenges of course, and the stigma of living with mental illness is still evident, even in the health sector where I work. Sometimes I’m not sure what’s harder: managing the roller coaster moods or managing the roller coaster of drug trials until a good treatment combo is found! One thing’s clear: I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for family, friends, workmates, and various health professionals who have gone out of their way to help. Keep well. :)

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Michelle Holland

    I was following reports of your ‘nervous breakdown’ and thank you for candidly sharing the true story. I knew of your success with Sunrise and tuned in to Wake Up on that basis. To hear that you, a successful, professional person, suffers from Bipolar Disorder brought me a lot of comfort because I suffer too. I have had years of illness but was misdiagnosed until earlier this year, when I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar type 2.

    With some trepidation, I shared this secret on my blog this year and I have to say people have been very supportive. There is so much mental illness out there – it is ridiculous that stigma still exists.

    Wishing you all the best xx

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    RhodaD

    Yes, a long way to go but thanks to people like you and Jessica the public are beginning to see the picture.

    My best wishes.

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Steven Schmidt

    Hi Adam, Today was a big day for me, and i have you to thank! After reading your article on your day to day battle with Bi polar, i myself made my bi polar public! Within minutes i was getting comments on my announcement and within an hour had 19 private messages congratulating me! If only i had the guts to reach out earlier, i might have had some support over the years! Everything you mentioned in your article, i too went thru! So a BIG thank you too you, and if you could, please find my page and read my status, and i would be GREATLY GREATLY thankfull if YOU could comment on my status! Would mean ALOT to me to be acknowledged by you! Forever thankfull!! Steven Schmidt

  • Reply December 10, 2013

    Terri Pod

    Thank you Adam. I found your description of this crippling illness very moving but realistic. I especially appreciated your mentioning that this is a BIOLOGICAL condition. Wishing you all the best for the future.

  • Reply December 11, 2013

    Shona Charleston

    Thank you. Thank you for your bravery, your honesty and your ability to describe the pain and the torment that bipolar sufferers, such as you and I, face every moment of every day. I’ve always found that words seem inadequate and can’t convey how consuming our thoughts and emotions are. I’ve struggled when I tell people that I have bipolar disorder, struggled to add any context to the name of this deeply unsettling, often frightening and sometimes fatal illness. I can’t begin to describe the rollercoaster we are launched into when treatment begins or the sense of loss of one’s self when we have our mood artificially stabilised. I hope you find the right treatment, as I now have, as soon as possible and I want to thank you again, this time for giving me hope that I will once more be able to return to work and the sense of worth that might bring.
    Thank you.

  • Reply December 11, 2013

    Cheryl

    Thanks Adam. Lots of mental illness in my family, it sucks, requires long term management and is never truly gone. The symptoms for me are really physical, the brain is just another organ of the body, feels ironic to call it mental illness. Take care and all the best to you.

  • Reply December 11, 2013

    Mark Seydel

    Adam, The world needs you so much. Your story does need to be told and the stigma must be fought. I have a Mental Health blog and have added you to my Circles on Google+

    Be well and props to you for being “out” about your being Bi-Polar!

  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Della Pin

    Hi Adam
    I’ve just read your story via Black Dog. They do wonderful work along with Lifeline who also helps so many people in need of mental health support.
    I’m cofounder of an online shopping mall that is proud to partner of both these wonderful organisations by donating half our proceeds to a customer’s chosen cause.
    Would love to share it with you so you, your friends and family can support these great causes with their Christmas shopping.
    Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a happier new year.

  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Lisa Cumming

    Well done Adam with letting the public know what it’s like to live with Bi Polar… I had been misdiagnosed for years and got reassessed 3 months ago and got diagnosed with Bi Polar .im still not quite right but am getting there… It’s a very hard road to getting well but my husband and 3 kids have been amazing… Good Luck to u on staying level and focused and thanks again for sharing your story

  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Michelle

    A big thank you for your brave decision to discuss your Bipolar. With true understanding and sensitivity on “both sides”, we can all lead a full and meaningful life. From one who has lived with bipolar for 40 odd years and has only recently been able to discuss this. Thank you again for passing on your courage and I send you my sincere best wishes for the future.

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    Terry Roberts

    Adam. What can I say, except that now I know why I felt the need to talk to you last Wednesday at the fundraising night. So much more to talk about now, in person. Congratulations for finding a way out and sharing your experience. You will remember me praising your Mum and our great friend. Now the praise also goes to you and your partner. I am glad to know you and look forward to more chats together. Best wishes mate.

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    Ron & Lee Bennett

    Keep up and only listen to anything positive Adam, our thoughts and best wishes are with you.
    Lee & Ron xx

  • Reply December 15, 2013

    Ben Pike

    Thanks for this article. Keep fighting the good fight, man. More people with public exposure need to be getting this message out there!

  • Reply December 16, 2013

    Dollly

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am pretty sure many will benefit from it. Wishing you well on your emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual life…

  • Reply December 29, 2013

    Louisa

    I was diagnosed with bp 15 years ago and your account of your experience and comments that have been left resonates with me. I am glad to hear that you have a sense of mental acuity and can apply your intelligence to where you want to take the show. I have had to ‘settle’ for that state in my own life rather than a roller coaster of moods that saw me work in fits and starts and behave impulsively with some disastrous consequences in my personal life. I am not symptom free and I take a cocktail of drugs but life is good. Work, sleep and love is also critical to my wellbeing. Research has shown that the best stigma buster is personal or professional contact with someone who is living well with a mental illness. I do my bit but people like you and Stephen Fry can reach so many more people. All the best for a good life.

  • Reply January 6, 2014

    pp et al

    Thanks to Adam for sharing his personal battle.

    We need more celebrities opening up about this problem!!

    Take care mate..xx

  • Reply January 14, 2014

    Kathryn

    Hi Adam sharing your personal journey with mental illness is so important as everyone’s journey is unique. I find it very frustrating when people who don’t suffer a mental illness make themselves an expert on what it is and how you should cope. I don’t have a mental illness but have plenty of friends and family who have and I really believe this issue gets pushed under the table too often. As a public figure in the media I admire your strength to come forward and share your journey. Thanks, Kath

  • Reply January 14, 2014

    Julie

    HI Adam, read your article after watching the segment on mental health and stigma on Monday. I was very interested in watching this, as I have had OCD (obsessive compulisve disorder) from the age of 7 and I am now 55. I was undiagnosed until I was 30 years of age even after seeing a pyschiatrist weekly for 2 years. I found out what I had in a womens magazine. I was totally debilitated spending every waking hour completing rituals, checking, washing, counting, cleaning etc. I never told anyone and the burden of putting on that facade everyday would exhaust me. Although my OCD has been undercontrol for 24 years, I still come across the stigma and find it very frustrating. I now do public speaking on my journey with OCD and hope this helps a little with stigma. I wish you all the best, stay strong surround yourself with good friends and enjoy life, You have done a wonderful thing for people with Bi-polar, if you reach just one person you have done a great job. Take care, Julie x

  • […] Last year Boland wrote about his battles with both his bipolar condition and depression describing them as his “black dog”. […]

  • Reply January 23, 2014

    Mark Nicholson

    Hi Adam, I too am chased by the black dog. I know how it feels to awake swallowed alive inside that beast and to have no idea how you are going to escape. Or even be able to summon the will to want to escape. I have had some success in taking an alternative view each day. Adam if you go out for a run or train hard you will wake up sore the next day. And some people wake up sorer than others the next day. I see us as emotional athletes that suffer more the next day when we emotionally exercise. Now when I wake up in the dark dog I open my eyes and think about the emotional exercising that bought to the dark. Slowly I recover. It takes a while. But instead of that black dog being a destination, it becomes a departure point. I hope this helps you in your struggle.

  • Reply March 24, 2014

    Pip Miller

    Adam is always inspiring – doesn’t matter if he is up or if he is down.

  • Reply March 24, 2014

    Noel

    I am not sure why you need to be so depressed. I am sure you along with the people in Studio 10 get plenty of money to live well. From their smiles they seem like they get good dental care something which we plebs struggle to pay for..But I am sure Murdoch loves the show as long as you schilk it to the Labour party.

  • […] http://thehoopla.com.au/adam-boland-inner-fears/ […]

  • Reply March 24, 2014

    RhodaD

    Good for you, Adam. So pleased you spoke out because I have a friend with it and though she’s okay she isn’t certain in her mind that what she has is biological. Her parents have no clue how to support her either or what to make of it. I’m sending your story to her and to them. My heart felt best wishes.

    And I also want to say that I was on a forum recently where mental illness in general was discussed and you have no idea of the ignorance. Nor how many people just don’t get it and resent the very idea that someone might take time off to recover from it. Even those who are more compassionate expressed the view that all they needed was more support. It revealed to me the widespread ignorance of the many different kinds of mental illness and the ignorance and misunderstanding that prevails and contributes to the anguish of those who suffer it.

    The very word ‘depression’ is used out of its proper context which confuses everything as well. Mental illness definitely needs a higher profile.

    Best, Adam!

  • Reply March 25, 2014

    helen

    I congratulate Adam for being so honest about his illness

    Love this quote from him

    The media have a duty of care!

    CORRECT.

    Please future media executives respect your audience and our cultural capital.

    Stop being polarizing and accept more diversity in the media

    Thanks Adam…Best Of Luck in your journey.

  • Reply March 25, 2014

    Pauline

    Good for you, Adam, for sticking with it and finding a treatment that works for you! Glad your support people were able to help too, that does make a difference. Completely agree about hospital, though, after my three day visit I decided the pine box was the preferred alternative. (Obviously not needing either was a bit above that lol).

    Being treated like an imbecilc prisoner didn’t help at all. I suspect one of the reasons I was in hospital was because of my workplace, where, ironically, staff were treated like imbecilc prisoners. :-) If you’re on the dark road, please, reach out – there are more of us here with you than you think. You’re NOT alone, and we DO care.

Leave a Reply