Friday 17 November 2017

'It's an ongoing battle' - DJ Nikki Hayes opens up about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder

DJ Nikki Hayes on Elaine. Image: Elaine/TV3
DJ Nikki Hayes on Elaine. Image: Elaine/TV3
Nikki Hayes with her husband Frank and daughter Farah. Image: Instagram
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

DJ Nikki Hayes has opened up about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

The popular Spin1038 DJ and vocal mental health activist was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in 2015.

During an appearance on TV3's Elaine, she spoke about struggling with an eating disorder and being diagnosed with anorexia when she was 15, as well as self-harming and attempting to take her life as the years went on.

"I was 15 and I had an eating disorder, it was really a diet that went out of control. Then I had a suicide attempt, there was lots of self harm," she said.

Lovely #datenight with the hubby

A photo posted by Nikki Hayes (@djnikkihayes) on

"It was a cry for help."

"It was snowballing over years and years... People just thought I was a bit of a drama queen or attention seeking."

The popular DJ (37) said that when she went to college, the problems just escalated.

"While I was in college I was really unhappy. Things were getting very much out of control, and with partying and alcohol those manic highs were becoming really, really high and the lows were really, really low."

Nikki Hayes with her husband Frank and daughter Farah. Image: Instagram
Nikki Hayes with her husband Frank and daughter Farah. Image: Instagram

"I spent many years on Xanax, sleeping tablets, anti-depressants. Some bring you up, some bring you down but they were just putting a plaster over everything. When I took the overdose in college, I had a brain seizure because it was so bad." 

After experiencing mental health issues throughout her life, Nikki was relieved to be diagnosed with BPD in 2015 after experiencing a  breakdown and spending five weeks in hospital.

"Unfortunately it was only a year and a half ago, but fortunately as well I got the diagnosis," she said.

"With BPD, your mind is just chattering all the time, so you don't get that feeling of quiet. It never happens, it never comes."

"You can get through it if you get the right diagnosis. BPD is a component of a couple of different things. It's OCD, eating disorders, suicide attempts, anxiety, depression. You need to have five components of it to be diagnosed with BPD."

"If you come into a situation, you'll think about it and you'll react appropriately. With someone with BPD, the emotion is a larger thing. So you go in and you feel the emotion and you act as if the emotion is the correct one, which it's not. So you get very, very devastated. You have very disproportionate reactions to situations," she explained.

"For example, someone said something to me before at a media event, it was very small and said in a throw away comment, but I went up to the hotel room and sliced my legs open. That's exactly how it is. That person to this day doesn't even know, nor would I want them to, it wasn't their fault."

"I take a lot of medication... Mood stabilisers, anti-depressants, sleeping tablets. I do psychology once a week," she added, after previously revealing that she was hospitalised in March 2016.

"It's not perfect but I'm getting there," she said. "It's an ongoing battle."

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact Samaritans on 116123 or visit

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