Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 7°C

Five-day forecast

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

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014
6:00 PM

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

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

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.”

Share this article

0 comments

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.

Forgotten your password?

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

   Local advertisers

More News

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Romford Recorder on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Romford businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Romford Recorder, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »