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 News Stories

The Healthy Chef cafe has opened on Corbets Tey Road in Upminster

A thriving restaurant will have to change its name thanks to “Australia’s equivalent to Nigella Lawson” after they were told it had already been trademarked.

Yesterday, 17:00
Havering Mind presentation to Mullis and Peake

Experiencing pressure at work isn’t unusual, but too much can cause stress and anxiety.

Yesterday, 14:41
Tube strikes called off

Seven more Tube strikes have been announced today over “basic safety issues”.

Yesterday, 14:22
Scope in Barkingside. Picture: Google Maps

A shop manager for a disabled children’s charity is facing jail after stealing £7,500 from the till to help her unemployed boyfriend pay rent.

Yesterday, 08:54
Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe signs mental health pledge

London’s police chief has pledged his commitment to challenging mental health stigma and promoting the wellbeing of his staff.

Yesterday, 08:27
Democracy Week debate at the Ilford Council chamber chaired by Archant Executive Editor Chris Carter

As gateways go, Gallows Corner is not the best introduction for visitors to Havering.

Yesterday, 07:00
Gallows Corner junction, flyover and roundabout in Romford

Plans to improve safety at accident blackspot, Gallows Corner, have been branded a “waste of time” by Romford’s MP.

Thu, 16:42
Sam Boateng pictured after the attack in Rainham on Wednesday night

A 23-year-old man could lose the sight in his left eye after he was attacked with acid by a stranger in Rainham last night.

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

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe