Ex-soldier’s battle with post-traumatic stress inspires challenge

AN EX-soldier who battled post-traumatic stress disorder is embarking on a 10k run for the charity which helped him on the road to recovery.

Russell Dean, 38, of Findon Valley, will take part in the run in London on Sunday, for Combat Stress.

Russell Dean

Russell Dean

During his time in the army, Russell was as a combat medic, serving in Afghanistan, before leaving the armed forces in 2001.

But the symptoms of PTSD didn’t appear until more than 10 years later, in September of last year.

He said: “I was having sleepless nights, waking up in cold sweats and having flashbacks.

“I became isolated, as do many others, and I know squaddies who couldn’t even go out to the shops.”

Russell will take part in the 10k with thousands of others, but he will be running it with a lead weight in his backpack.

He said: “It weighs 25lbs, and I will also have a lot of water stored in the backpack.

“So the quicker I drink, the less weight I’ll be carrying.”

Since contracting PTSD, Russell has been receiving treatment in Leatherhead.

He said: “It’s quite a weird condition. It was a couple of years before I realised I had something wrong.

“It can be difficult to deal with, as soldiers don’t tend to talk about what they’ve seen. Counselling is therefore a massive part of treatment.”

To donate to Russell’s cause, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Dean

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, July 11.