Adam Boland opens up about "the black dog"

Cheryl McGrath / December 18, 2013 04:01 PM

It would be difficult not to have been moved by Adam Boland’s piece that was published in early December.

                      Adam Boland

Known to media junkies as a morning television whiz kid, Boland is best known as the executive producer who masterminded Sunrise’s success and cemented it as a ratings powerhouse against its main competitor, Nine’s morning show Today.

As a result, it’s easy to see why the news that Boland was heading up a new morning show on Channel 10 caused a lot of buzz, and the new show Wake Up! launched in early November in the wake of a massive marketing campaign.

What looked promising, though, suddenly went sour.  In the first week after Wake Up! hit the screen, Boland was reported as having collapsed and taken sick leave without warning. The news hit all major news sites. 

There was plenty of hint-hint, wink-wink happening in the headlines. Most ran something along the lines of “Adam Boland takes indefinite stress leave just three days after launching Wake Up!” and none bothered to hold back from mentioning that said Wake Up! hadn’t exactly set the world on fire. “Was it really that bad?” was a typical joke.

Throw into the mix Boland’s relationship break-up with his longtime partner and speculation was plenty.

But this all changed last week when The Hoopla published Boland’s response to the uproar.

I can recap it, but it’s worthwhile reading on its own. In a straightforward style, Boland opened up about his breakdown, including the bipolar disorder which had dogged his work and personal life. Deep insecurities about his “wunderkind” status were rife and exacerbated both by failures and successes – including when The Morning Show launched and hit the heights.

Now with a relationship on the skids and his newest morning show attracting less than complimentary reviews, Boland had been reduced to anxiety attacks and fits in his home and finally succumbed to the indefinite sick leave which caused such a ruckus across the media.

Boland's response surely would not have been easy to write, but that’s exactly what made it stand out. It was a bold move to talk about his own struggles, especially in an unforgiving media environment where one-upmanship is the norm, and one that was ready to crucify his latest effort.

What's more, it lifted the lid on an illness that is often misunderstood. It certainly would have resonated with those of us who have or know someone who has a mood disorder. For those who don’t, it would have shed some light on these topics which are often kept under wraps.

While the personal circumstances are unfortunate, Boland’s willingness to open up should definitely be applauded.

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