Nikki Hayes' husband Frank opens up about her breakdown: 'We could see something wasn't right'
Radio DJ Nikki Hayes' husband Frank Black has given his first interview since his wife suffered a nervous breakdown.
Spin 1038 host Nikki wed army officer Frank in May 2015 and they have a two-year-old daughter together, Farah. Last month, Nikki (whose real name is Eimear O'Keeffe), opened up about her treatment after suffering a breakdown, her eventual diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and her journey to recovery.
Frank said when they first moved in together, he began to notice some unbalanced reactions to situations - in particular, when he was stationed in Lebanon for six months.
"That kind of brought the first challenge in our relationship," he told the Irish Daily Mail's You Magazine."That's when the highs and lows of emotions that Nikki was experiencing really showed themselves. I noticed her reactions to certain things were disproportionate to the reality of the situation.
"That's when I started to notice something just wasn't sitting right and you could see it in Nikki as well and it scared her."
After the birth of their daughter in 2013, Nikki "took to motherhood like a duck to water", but soon suffered from postnatal depression.
The father-of-one explained that Nikki eventually found it too difficult to balance her bubbly professional persona and her personal mental health struggles. She was hospitalised last year for five weeks at Dublin's Connolly Hospital.
"She looked scared, she was in tears, she was shaking and I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if she had an accident in the house, if she had banged her head, what was causing this...I knew this wasn't something I was going to be able to deal with so I just lifted the phone and rang the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance.
"They were so relaxed about it, there were no dramatics from them. I don't think I'll ever be able to thank them enough for that."
"I had seen the at-home side of Nikki, the bit that nobody else had seen. The nice, relaxed Nikki when she was allowing herself to switch off. That's what kept me around because I knew that deep within her was this Nikki that was able to relax," he said of his decision to stick with Nikki from the beginning.
The couple are now looking forward to a promising future together as the popular DJ "can see a future now."