A FORMER York resident who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder is nearly half-way through a bid to run 100 marathons in 100 weeks.
Simon Buckden, 40, was diagnosed with PTSD after the horrific atrocities he witnessed in Bosnia left him suicidal and drinking heavily.
He is taking part in the challenge to raise awareness of the condition and to raise money for Help For Heroes – an ambition made all the more remarkable as he was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year and is currently undergoing radiotherapy.
Mr Buckden, who works as a motivational speaker and ambassador for the Leeds and York NHS Partnership, said: “I call PTSD a narrowing of your life, I became a shell of a person. It cuts down the things you can do because you don’t want to be in certain places. It reduces your quality of life.
“If I can help one person with PTSD and encourage them to go to a GP or speak to their family, this will be a success. I want to get to as many people as possible and I’m trying to organise a PTSD awareness day with the Government so there is a long-term legacy and people know about it.”
Mr Buckden, who used to be based at Imphal Barracks, was discharged from the Royal Signals on medical grounds in May 2001. He said he had inadequate support from the Ministry of Defence and had to handle his mental illness alone before being eventually diagnosed with PTSD in 2005.
The symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, anxiety, tremors, emotional numbness, outbursts and addictions.
Mr Buckden has taken part in 46 marathons so far. He aims to complete his challenge by January 2013.