Musclemania® Model Champion Ben Abstacker shares his experience with depression.

The Australian sports model and television trainer explains, "I feel vulnerable as fuck right now that’s why I haven’t really shared my depression story on social media. But I think it needs to be told to show others it ain’t too weak to speak Livin. More importantly to help others realise their is light at the end of the tunnel and you can get through the darkness of depression by helping yourself.

I battled depression on and off during my early 20s.

When I was 23 I had a part-time job working a couple of nights at a bar and during the day I was meant to be at University studying ! However I would sleep all day and stay up all night because I didn’t want to see anyone. I was becoming weirdly nocturnal. I was useless, chubby and broke. I thought I had no mates, I definitely didn't have girlfriend and I was too ashamed to call my parents. Depression was getting the best of me.
One Tuesday I woke up around 3pm, which was pretty normal for me. I walked into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. It was death warmed up, a broken soul looking back at me. I was sick. I had been repeating this behavior for months and months on end. I needed to see a doctor because I was messed up. I found enough coins for the $2.20 bus ride to see the doctor at University. On the bus I pulled my hood over my head because I didn’t want to see anyone, I hadn’t shaven in a month and I looked like a bum. I had no energy and no personality. I don't know where I got the courage to step into that medical centre.

I told the doctor everything. She said, "You have depression".

Depression? I'd heard of people suffering depression but I didn’t think it would be me. She told me I'd need help and the best thing for depression and the alcohol abuse was exercise. This gave me even more reason to get in the gym and train.

I am thankful for what happened to me. We learn the most about ourselves in times of struggle. Dancing with depression was one serious character building experience. I am just so glad I survived when many young adults don’t. I started building my mental strength. I realised that no matter how bad things get I should just hang in there.

At rock bottom, if can look up, you can get up - just don’t give up because that is permanent. The point of telling you this part of my story is to remind us that everyone, and I mean everyone, will go through hardships in life. It will seem like the end of the world.

Life is a battle, day in and day out. Those dark days at rock bottom changed me forever. I went from being at the lowest point in my life to becoming a new and different person. I learned to make pain my friend. I created a depth of internal motivation that would change the course of my life
forever. Life is hard. It will beat you down at every opportunity but each one of us has the internal strength to fight back.

During your toughest days and at your lowest points is where you change. This is where you find out what you are made of. This is where you unleash the character of a champion. TELL yourself I will not give up. For those battling out there please don't give up !!! Things can and always will get better. I promise.

Please get some help if you need it. Speak up and or even drop me a message.

It’s time for you to step out of the darkness into the light."