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Niall Aslam has hit out at Love Island bosses, claiming they were responsible for the stress-induced psychotic episode which saw him leave the villa after just nine days.
The 26 year old starred on the 2018 series of the hit ITV2 dating show but left shortly after spending a week in the villa, later revealing he has autism and had suffered a psychotic episode.
He alleges he wasn't given the help he was promised before appearing on the show, which included being given plain food at mealtimes and having music that calmed him down played to him on request.
Speaking to the Mirror, Niall claims the food he had asked for didn't appear for four days and a crew member played him one song from his phone during a period in which he was stressed.
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He told the publication: "I wanted to get time out but [there was] more stress, more stress, more stress, and by the seventh day in I was segregating myself from the group.
"I had to get to the balcony for some time out, I was asking for music, like 'please play me some music to calm me down'. One guy played me a song on his phone once and they acted like they'd given me the world.
"I couldn't sleep and one of my coping mechanisms is talking to myself, that's how I cope with it. I started talking to myself and they [the producers] got worried."
Niall claims he was then "put in a car" without being told what was happening and assessed by a doctor in Palma before being moved to a separate villa to be medicated. His UK doctor then told producers to fly him home for specialist psychiatric help.
He, again, claims he was not told what was happening when put on a private plane to London and began to "interpret the world around him in a hallucinative state that left him unsafe, and was extremely confused and frightened."
He said: "Psychosis is where you basically don't know what’s real life anymore. The way you perceive life is wrong essentially, you can hear things, see things and basically you're not safe anymore.
"You're not in your right frame of mind for a good few months so I thought I was an actual wizard for a short time, among other things. That's what psychosis does. It skews your perception, it's very serious and that's why people have to get sectioned, because you get people who aren't safe and end up doing silly things ‘cause they don't know what's real life."
ITV paid for Niall's care whilst he stayed at the private Nightingale Hospital in London where he was told he was experiencing a psychotic episode.
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During his stay in hospital, he drafted a post to explain to his followers why he had left the villa, and sent it to ITV.
He claims: "I sent that over to ITV and they made me put, 'thanks for the support from ITV'. They put, 'let's get him to put 'the support from ITV helped me with my autism’, when they knew what it was."
Niall acknowledges ITV's aftercare package for islanders but says there isn't enough support for stars of the reality show before they enter the villa.
Love Island stars
He continued: "It isn't necessarily aftercare [that’s the problem], it's pre-care. No-one talks about this. It's the before-care, it's the transparency and things like this that people don't actually talk about.
"It's the stuff they go on and during, it's not the after. Once it's done it's done, it's got to be hard regardless. it's the during and before that needs looking at."
A spokesperson for Love Island told OK!: "We fully supported Niall during and after he left Love Island and in line with his and his family's wishes. Our medical suppliers are contracted to look after the health and wellbeing of our Islanders.
"Welfare and duty of care towards our contributors is always our primary concern, and we have extensive measures in place to support the islanders before, during and after their participation on the show. We have continued to evolve our process with each series, as the level of social media and media attention around the islanders has increased, which includes enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and a proactive aftercare package.
"It is simply untrue to suggest that ITV added a line to his Instagram statement thanking them for their support."
Love Island's duty of care protocols for the current series, airing nightly at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub, can be viewed here.
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