Love Island’s Niall Aslam reveals he was ‘forced to have fake conversations’ before ending up in a psychiatric ward
LOVE Island's Niall Aslam has claimed that he was prevented from using his autism "coping mechanisms" in the villa – and was forced to have "fake conversations".
The 25-year-old star briefly appeared in the 2018 series of the ITV2 reality hit, but left the show after nine days to go to a psychiatric hospital.
He abruptly quit the programme and later revealed he'd been hospitalised due to stress-induced psychosis – which saw him suffer from hallucinations.
Niall has Asperger's Syndrome, which show bosses were aware of at the time, and has been opening up about his Love Island experience in a new TikTok video.
In the latest post, he explained how his Autism Spectrum Disorder means that he has certain "coping mechanisms", such as talking to himself and isolating, which he was unable to utilise.
He told viewers: "As I got there and I started to get more and more stressed about what was going on around me I started to use my coping mechanisms.
"As someone with ASD, I don't know if someone else with it might have the same, but I talk to myself a lot and I started to segregate myself from the group.
"I'd go to the balcony a lot and try to escape the environment, but I just couldn't get away. Obviously this isn't entertaining and people want to have scenes going on that are entertaining.
"People would be trying to come up to me and have fake conversations and stuff, you know the ones: 'Yo bro, who do you like now? Is that your type?' and I'm more of: 'What's your favourite kind of bear?'"
Niall also wanted to make it clear that he is in a much better space now, adding: "That was a long time ago and I've gone on to become a National Autistic Society ambassador and do cool things."
The shock claims come just days after Niall blamed the "set-up" scenes for triggering his Love Island exit – and claimed that producers dictated who he could and couldn't show a romantic interest in.
He said in the short video: "Before Love Island I was a normal social work student in Coventry, and call me naive but I used to think the show was all as it seemed.
"As some of you may know, I have autism spectrum disorder – that the show were aware of because they get your whole medical record.
"This might explain why I thought the show was all as it seems as I'm quite a literal thinker.
"When I got there, there were loads of little things that I didn't see coming; I thought you could just chat to whoever you want but it was all very set up in ways of like: 'Don't talk to her', or: 'No, you like that person.'"
Niall went on: "I'm quite an unpredictable person and I think they want to be able to know what you're going to do next.
"The stress of this on top of quite a lot of other things started to really get to me."
A rep for Love Island told The Sun: "All Islanders are free to make their own decisions regarding who they couple up with and the public vote or format decides who leaves the island, not producers."
Niall previously said of his exit from the show: "I came out and talked about my Asperger’s and I was diagnosed at 10-years-old, that was basically the reason 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 to be exact.
"What I later found out is that I had stress-induced psychosis… Essentially what it is, 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.
"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 Asperger’s."
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