Now you can put IRC on the backburner, same as learning to compile from source -- those will come in handy at a later time.
Maybe troubleshooting would be the skill required for the present. So here is what I would suggest, and running on a separate netbook/laptop might be ideal. If you can run the live version of Mint or Solus or MX17 far enough as to run digikam right up to the point where the database gets created, go for it. I would try locating that database, noting its exact location e.g. $HOME or /usr/something-or-other, then saving a copy of the file on a stick so that when you run digikam on Bodhi the application need only add records to the file instead of creating a new file from scratch, which seems to be failing at the moment. If the application determines that the file already exists, then it merely has to add records to it.
Run digikam from terminus if you can manage that so that error or warning messages can be viewed, in addition to the messages in the system logs.