Name: Mike Schiemer, 27, of Frugal Fitness
The Crisis: "I've always struggled greatly with low self-esteem, clinical depression, mood disorder, and severe anxiety, as well as alcoholism in the past. These have been exacerbated by working too much, putting too much pressure on myself, not taking care of my health and fitness, along with other external stressors."
The Change: "[Eventually] I became so stressed out, depressed, and chemically imbalanced that I was incapacitated and couldn't get through normal daily activities… I nearly committed suicide before turning myself over to the emergency room last minute."
The Cure: When professional medical help wasn't giving Mike the relief he wanted, he started exploring lifestyle changes. "I had to slowly start out walking one to two miles and after many months, I eventually progressed to running four to six miles. This helped to boost my natural endorphin production, which in turn helped my mood." Next, Mike added weight lifting, meditation, and breathing exercises to his routine. Eventually, he says, the exercise "helped save my life by naturally reducing stress, improving my breathing abilities and patterns, helped me slow down my breathing, balance my body's chemicals, clear my head, give me more energy, improve self-esteem, and return my testosterone levels to normal healthy levels."
Mike's Tip: "I've learned the hard way that you need to ask for help when things aren't going well. You need to talk to qualified professionals, get medical support, and not feel ashamed or try to 'tough it out.' It isn't easy, but there is hope and things do get better."