James Wade knows how to hit targets with tungsten missiles on the dart board, but once struggled to apply such orderliness and method to his daily life.

Wade was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in 2011, and placed on suicide watch during a month-long stay at The Priory Hospital in London.

He emerged to become a patron for Bipolar UK, an organisation which features as a badge of honour on his playing shirts.

Wade's courage to confront such personal issues in the macho world of darts is prescient given the Herald's Break The Silence investigation. The campaign addressed why New Zealand has the worst suicide rate in the developed world for 15- to 19-year-olds.


Wade revealed his problems and received the necessary support which returned him back from the brink.

As Britain's Daily Telegraph noted in his recovery: "Tungsten may have brought James Wade fame, but it is lithium that brought him peace."

Wade's myriad professional titles place him fifth in the current rankings and 10th on the Professional Darts Corporation's order of merit with $559,000 in earnings over the past two years.

The 34-year-old has been a dominant arrows figure for most of this century, but often battled when he stepped away from the oche.

"I have bipolar, apparently," he told Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave. "I try to wear the badge to get people to recognise and acknowledge it is an illness, and try to prevent it being a taboo subject. If people are aware ... that is more value than any financial donation to the charity."

Wade always knew he wasn't the same as everyone else growing up. He went to The Priory when he was "very disruptive and naughty in life" and initially snubbed the diagnosis.

"For the first week I said 'stick your tablets, I don't need this'. Then I realised the more I took the tablets, the less I upset or hurt people. Life became more simple and manageable and my head was not going at a million miles an hour.

"I enjoy life more now. I'm not breaking everything's that's not broken. I just needed to listen to people who knew what they were talking about and accept it. Don't be frightened to ask for help because a problem shared is a problem halved. I didn't think it was that bad, but when you start taking the tablets you think 'Jesus, I put up with that for all those years and didn't need to'."

A mechanic by trade, Wade spends as much time as possible in his garage. He drives a Range Rover at the moment but, if he had his way, it'd be a new car every six months.

"I'm married now [to Samantha] so I buy sensible cars and worry about fuel economy.

"If I was left on my own, with my bank account, no tablets, and without Samantha, I would bankrupt myself within the week."

That obsessive-compulsive nature might explain Wade's rise in the darts world. He is hungry for success, which means he can blank out the crowd's sledging.

"Darts adds extra torture [to Wade's existence]. There's no one to help you, no teammates when you're having a bad day. No medication in the world can help with that. [The abuse] can be very personal."

Wade also had to shrug off the cold shoulders from peers when he made his original confession.

"The first time I came back to a tournament after visiting the Priory, pretty much every player - apart from Colin Lloyd and Andy Jenkins - turned their backs on me."

Aussie Anderson slays another 'giant'

Aussie Kyle Anderson has continued his giant-killing ways to progress to the Auckland Darts Masters semifinals at Waitakere Trusts Stadium.

Twenty-four hours after ousting top seed and defending champion Gary Anderson, he held his nerve to defeat countryman Simon Whitlock in a 10-9 thriller, coming back from 4-1 down and despite blowing a prime opportunity to seal victory late. Under pressure, Anderson was better and finally closed out the game with a double 20.

"My legs are still shaking," he admitted afterwards. "The number of doubles I missed, the number of doubles he missed - that was real pressure."

In the final analysis, Anderson only converted 10 of 33 chances, but that was enough to book a showdown with fourth seed James Wade at the next stage today. Wade progressed to his third Auckland Masters semi with a 10-7 win over Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney and

lived up to his "Machine" nickname, rattling off five straight legs to take the game.

Would you like help with the symptoms and treatments around Bipolar Disorder?
The Priory Hospital: http://www.priorygroup.com/mental-health/bipolar-disorder
Where to get help:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.