Search

Mental Health Awareness Week: Harold Hill woman helped to heal by love of her dogs

18:00 18 May 2014

Hazel Gibbons with her two dogs Chelsea and Zach. She suffered with mental heaalth issues but with the help of her dogs and Havering Mind she has recovered

Hazel Gibbons with her two dogs Chelsea and Zach. She suffered with mental heaalth issues but with the help of her dogs and Havering Mind she has recovered

Archant

Everything seemed to going wrong for Hazel Gibbons until she was brought back from the brink – by the love of her two dogs.

The 45-year-old, of Redcar Road, Harold Hill, suffered from bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder after leaving her “extremely stressful” job in retail.

She said: “I was working 14 hours, seven days a week and the work was growing and growing and I couldn’t take all of the pressure, leading me to go to hospital.

“Once the people at work realised I wasn’t coping, they thought I shouldn’t be in the job so made me feel pressured to leave by piling on the jobs for me to do, making my life extremely stressful.”

Hazel felt her life spiralled out of control when she left her job of six years.

Hazel said: “I was so down after I left but it was ruining my life so I just couldn’t take it anymore.

“I would close my curtains and avoid leaving the house at all costs. It was horrible.”

So she decided to seek help by visiting a therapist who suggested that it could be a good idea to get a dog as it would help to bring Hazel out of her shell again.

She said: “One of my friends was getting a dog ­anyway so I went with her to a private owner in Chingford, not planning to buy a pet, but by the time I left I had bought myself a dog!”

It was from this point that Hazel’s life began to change as she started going out more, socialise with different people and slowly build up her confidence.

Hazel said: “Having a dog has improved my life so much, it gives me something to get up for and a reason to go out.

“If I went to the park before, no one would speak to me but when you’ve got dogs, everyone wants to stop and chat.

“My dogs have made my life worth living.”

Although her first dog had to be put down in 2009 as it suffered from severe epilepsy, Hazel now has Zack the chihuahua. and Chelsea, a Jack Russell and Dalmation cross, who won the Recorder’s cutest dog competition last year.

She added: “I think without my dogs, it could have led me to have another breakdown but it is thanks to them that I’ve been saved.

“I have good days and bad days but they have made everything so much better for me.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

3 minutes ago
Chelmsford Crown Court

A man has been jailed for eight years for his part in a bloodthirsty 30-second attack on a Romford traveller who had his hand virtually chopped off.

10 minutes ago
Lindsay Lohan attends the Vanity Fair Post Oscars Party at the Mortons, Los Angeles.

It appears a number of famous faces enjoyed this weekend’s We Are festival in Upminster, including American actress Lindsay Lohan.

Shelley Hart

The CEO of a volunteering charity says she is “delighted” to be celebrating their success after the shock of closure last year.

08:25
The Met Office has issued a weather warning

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning as heavy rain hits the south east.

Yesterday, 15:07
Sam Bartlett with his nieces

A new exercise club is encouraging families to exercise together to improve the nations health.

Yesterday, 10:00
Stand up at the Comedy Club 4 Kids

What’s happening in Havering this half-term

Yesterday, 09:00

A community psychiatric nurse has been suspended from working for a year after she accessed medical records without clinical justification and acted aggressively in front of a patient.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Sanders School pupil, Mark Trew, has been chosen to take part in a film promoting a mentoring scheme. Photo: Stacey Kyraciou/Sanders School

Eight teenagers are taking part in a one-of-a-kind mentoring scheme that gives them the opportunity to mentor nursery children to develop self-esteem and confidence.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe