Niall Aslam says he left Love Island after suffering from stress-induced psychosis
He says he was hallucinating and losing ‘touch with reality’
Niall Aslam has said he left the Love Island villa after suffering from stress-induced psychosis.
He left the villa after just seven days in the 2018 series, that went on to be won by Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham. At the time, Niall said he was leaving due to “personal reasons”, later saying he has Aspergers syndrome.
In an Instagram video, Niall says: “I came out and talked about my Aspergers and I was diagnosed at 10 years old, and that was basically the reason why I left Love Island.
“But what actually happened to me, I ended up watching Love Island in a psychiatric hospital in London, the Nightingale Hospital in London to be exact.
“What I later found out is that I had something called stress-induced psychosis. I did not know what that was. Essentially what it is, when you get so overwhelmed that you lose touch with reality.
“You kind of hallucinate, you don’t know what’s going on, you’re not fully aware of your surroundings, you’re not safe, you need other people to look after you.”
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Describing his symptoms, Niall went on to say: “It takes quite a lot of time to come down from that, but when you come down from it you really come down, you go into a really deep depression.
“I was at the hospital for two weeks but in my head I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on, I thought it was because of my Aspergers.”
He says that after he left hospital he still “wasn’t in the right frame of mind at all” and had lots of side effects from his medication. Niall says he didn’t do many interviews post-Love Island, which he says is because he was getting “slurred speech” from the medication. He then came off the medication “cold turkey”, and says that was “horrible”.
He says he went from “here to here”, gesturing up high and then down low, saying he “didn’t know what reality was”.
Niall says he believes adjusting to life after Love Island made his recovery from the stress-induced psychosis harder. He says: “It was a really upside down time for me. I think it took quite a long time for me to recover fully from it because of the Love Island situation.
“I was trying to get back to reality and my reality was different. I was really struggling.
“I was able to mask that for a long time. I was going to events, I was meeting people. In my head, I was all over the place. I was really depressed, I was avoiding things. It took a long time to recover. Everyone thought I was having the best time but I had the crisis team round every morning, because they had to come and check up on me.”
Niall said that he was speaking out about his “mental health journey” and the reason behind his Love Island departure as he wants to help people have more open conversations about mental health. He said lockdown has been hard for him and many others, and wants to help “normalise” talking about mental health.
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He wrote in the video’s caption: “I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past few months and with things hopefully slowly going back to normal. I think its important if I’m in a position to share my story and journey with mental health and if it could help someone else then it’s something I should do.
“I’ve always wanted to be more open with people and talk more about mental health but its something I’ve not really been completely open about, as I guess for a period of time I felt embarrassed and shyed away from what happened to me.
“Through talking to people I’ve realised its better to speak out as there people experiencing similar situations and might not want to talk about it either because of similar reasons.
“This video is in short my journey of what I went through from leaving Love Island to going to a psychiatric hospital and my early diagnosis, everything which in the end made me a stronger person. I’d hope what people get from watching this short video is that people can be very good at masking what they might be going through and just checking up on people can really help.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) on 0800 58 58 58.
Featured image via Instagram @niallaslam