Denny man runs Loch Ness Marathon to support Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation
A Denny man has gone to extreme lengths to open others’ eyes to a mental health condition he was diagnosed with.
Fraser Walker, 22, has body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a condition which affects around five in every 1000 Brits, according to OCD-UK.
BDD is a mental health condition which causes a person to worry about flaws in their appearance which are often unnoticeable to others.
Fraser took on the Loch Ness Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for and awareness of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, completing the route in four hours, 49 minutes and 18 seconds.
So far, his efforts have coined in more than £1000 for the charity, which works to relieve suffering for people with BDD, while advancing research, treatments and awareness of the condition.
Diagnosed five years ago, Fraser believes he’s battled BDD for much longer and says he was only able to receive support courtesy of his dad’s healthcare arrangement.
Fraser said: “I was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder in 2016 after a life-long battle with my body image and have since thankfully reached a point in life where I live with it rather than suffer from it.
“Unfortunately, for so many people out there with BDD, they haven’t yet reached that stage and the support and awareness available to them isn’t quite hitting the mark.
“I was diagnosed in the summer of 2016 but I’d probably been dealing with it a lot longer than that, I just didn’t realise what it was. BDD is about seeing perceived flaws in yourself that maybe others wouldn’t see.
“It could be so detrimental that the person struggles to leave their house. For myself, I felt I’d been born in a body that just wasn’t mine.
“I would see myself as 6ft with a chiselled and really well-defined jaw, which I’m just not going to be.
“When I was diagnosed there were no professionals in Scotland I was able to get support from. I was fortunate that through my dad’s work I had access to private healthcare but I was having to travel down south every two weeks.
“The marathon went really well. I was running on an injured knee but I did complete it, which was the main goal.”
Fraser currently splits his time between his job at The Pines Chippy in Denny and Slimming World, where he’s employed as a consultant in Falkirk.
As well as having taken up running, he’s joined a pole fitness group since his diagnosis to maintain his mental well-being.
Fraser continued: “I went on a body project. Part of it was doing cognitive behavioural therapy and learning how to live with it.
“I joined Slimming World to lose weight and started to get a lot more active. I found a healthier relationship with exercise.
“I like to make sure I’m out and about walking or running and I do pole fitness and aerial acrobatics.
“From what I understand, the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation is the only charity for BDD in the world, which shows the lack of awareness of the condition.
“I know the work the foundation is doing is very important because it’s advancing awareness. I’ve managed to make it past £1000 so any more money we can raise is going to help further the cause.”
Click here to donate.