'I no longer see a fat little boy,' says a man overcoming body dysmorphia

Story highlights

  • Brian Cuban spent most of his life ashamed of his body and trying unhealthy ways to fix it
  • After a suicide attempt, Cuban turned his life around
Each week, CNN profiles people who have faced a dramatic turning point in their life. Do you have a story to share? Go to CNN iReport to share it, and you could be featured here. See more stories like this and share your own on CNN.com/TurningPoints

(CNN)Ten years ago, Brian Cuban tried to end it all.

"I was dry firing a weapon into my mouth," he admitted. "I was ready to end my life. At 44 years old. I was so disgusted with what I saw in the mirror that I was willing to end my life."
Cuban, the brother of investor and NBA team owner Mark Cuban, spent his teenage years overweight and endured much of his life afterward trying to move past the experience.
    He grew up wanting to be accepted, but was bullied and shamed through much of his young life. The worst example is when some bullies "pantsed" him and told him to wear a bra.
    Cuban was determined to lose weight, but chose many unhealthy ways to do so. It began with anorexia followed by bulimia in college, which continued for over 25 years. He felt a further stigma since "eating disorders are considered a 'women's issue.'"
    He also turned to steroids in his 20s, as well as alcoholism and cocaine. "I went broke obtaining hair transplants and liposuctions," he said.
    His body dysmorphia followed him through law school, the Marines and three failed marriages. So in 2005, he hit a point where he saw no way out.
    "I saw only a dark abyss in my future," he said. "I was extremely lucky that I had a loving family and friends who stayed involved in my life. My older brother Mark took my gun and took me to my first of two trips to a local psychiatric facility."
    Over the past eight years, he has turned things around and feels like he has beaten his body dysmorphia. It