Mental Health and Recovery Advocate & Best-Selling Author
An authority on male eating disorders, Brian Cuban is the author of the best-selling book, Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It chronicles his first-hand experiences living with, and recovering from, twenty-seven years of eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Read More >
Keynote at the 3rd Annual Media And Mental Health Awards
One Step Forward
The Chaos of Addiction
I was able to Forgive
It is possible to pull out of the descent into the chaos of drug addiction. Restoring love of self, trust, family relationships and career. Brian Cuban, younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank Shark, Mark Cuban, describes this decent which took him through two trips to a psychiatric facility and the brink of suicide. How he was able to not only recover but redefine his career as a successful lawyer and ultimately find his true passion in life.
It is possible to rise above our worst moments in life, reinvent ourselves, and achieve great things. Brian discusses his journey through clinical depression, twenty-seven years of eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, alcohol and drug addiction. A journey that took him from an 18-year-old anorexia/bulimic to the brink of suicide at 45 years old. To then finally turn it around, walk away from a successful legal career, restoring himself, his family relationships, and finding his true passion in life.
Did you know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? Do you know that an estimated 30-35 percent of those suffering are men?
Brian Cuban is amongst a select few male speakers in the world sharing his first person story of eating disorder recovery on a national level. He was anorexic at eighteen years old. He transitioned into bulimia at nineteen and did not go into recovery until he was forty-five. In one step forward into eating disorder recovery, through powerful storytelling, humor and education, Cuban presents the tools he used through his recovery journey, tools he continues to use today. He discusses how those suffering as well as friends and family can use Empathy, Education, Empowerment Voice and Action (EEVA) to take that first step and empower others to do the same.
Steroid use has the potential to be destructive both short term and long term. Brian Cuban is living proof. He first began using anabolic steroids in his mid-twenties, another destructive behavior of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a psychological disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with their appearance or self-image. After starving himself, binging and purging, and excessive exercise bulimia, Cuban turned to steroids. Spending thousands of dollars on black market steroids, risking arrest and all the physical side effects, some temporary, some permanent. Almost losing his left leg after ignoring a staph infection brought on by using dirty needles, Cuban required major surgery, and to this day continues to have leg and other health problems as a result.
Through his personal journey, Brian Cuban has come to believe that our society can and should keep addressing the behaviors that lead to steroid abuse. In this presentation, Cuban lays out what he believes are the preventive measures to address this difficult issue, from legally prohibiting and punishing possession and distribution, through raising awareness through education, and re-examining the messages (by media, coaches, mentors) imposed on children about their self-image and self-worth.
Substance use disorders have always been higher than the societal norm in the legal profession. Most lawyers know someone in the legal profession whose career was either lost or significantly harmed due to addiction. Attorneys and law students like anyone else can be genetically pre-disposed to alcoholism, substance use disorders, depression, eating disorders and even adult self-harm. The stress of practicing law can be an environmental trigger to these issues. The associated shame and fear of judgment can inhibit a lawyer from disclosing these issues until there both physical and employment consequences. Brian Cuban discusses his experiences with mental health issues, both as a law student at the University Of Pittsburgh and practicing attorney in Dallas Texas for over twenty years. Brian discusses his recovery, redefining his career as well as restoring family and passion for life.
In the Jewish faith, the Hebrew phrase "Tikkun Olam" means "repair of the world," which has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice. In order to effectively "repair the world and effect change however, we must invest in and to take care of others but also remember take care of ourselves. Brian Cuban, a lawyer by trade and a secular Jew, describes how he had to repair himself from serious mental health challenges to reevaluate his goals in life, change course, and begin to engage in his pursuit of social action and justice. Helping others suffering from mental health challenges to repair their world and the world in general.
"Thank you so much for sharing your story and educating our FISD community. I appreciated the way you started the presentation in putting the parents at ease by saying 'I’m not blaming parents.' So many times parents get defensive about their parenting skills and shut down before we can provide any support. You also did a great job of answering the questions they threw at you at the end of your presentation. I know you have made a difference in the lives of so many people and we appreciate that some of our families are now included."
"To say Mr. Cuban’s message was well-received would be an understatement. Feedback about our event in general was positive beyond our greatest expectations, and comments about Mr. Cuban’s presentation in particular have been outstanding. He wove together the history of his struggles with a message of hope; not just 'what happened,' but also how he escaped the grips of a mental health crisis and embraced recovery. Mr. Cuban is a skilled speaker. I recommend Brian Cuban wholeheartedly as a speaker and as a loyal friend to recovery."
"Mr. Brian Cuban is an inspirational speaker. His forthright delivery speaks to audiences of all ages and both genders. He has broken down barriers for men to speak frankly about their struggles with eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and addictions. Both those who have been bullied, and those who have bullied others can profit from the stories of his childhood and how bullying contributed to his later struggles. He answers questions openly and honestly and is genuine in the telling of his story and his recovery journey."
"The Oklahoma Eating Disorders Association was thrilled to have Brian Cuban as our keynote speaker for our annual community outreach event, Conversations of Hope. His authentic and powerful story of recovery offered insight and hope to a diverse audience. Mr. Cuban beautifully integrated humor into a serious topic which kept the audience engaged and made for a wonderful evening. We highly recommend him as a professional speaker and consider it a privilege to have heard his story."
"You have a gift for telling your story in a way that resonates with people of all ages and life experiences and you made what is typically an unapproachable topic accessible and enlightening. In addition to being a fantastic motivational speaker with a great sense of humor, you generously shared your time and wisdom with the students before and after the event."
"Brian is a powerful speaker that engages with professionals, students, peers, and families unlike anyone I have had the pleasure of working with. Brian brings a passion for recovery, on multiple fronts that is unbridled in the modern recovery movement. He is a pleasure to work with professionally, and will impact your audience more than you ever hoped for. I would highly recommend Brian to speak in a variety of settings, and will gladly contract him again to speak at the University."
"Your talk was so captivating, honest and inspiring. Everyone loved it! Thank you for doing what you do. You change lives every day by sharing your story and by letting your voice be heard. You are welcome back here anytime. We are your biggest fans!"
"While he spoke at the event, I looked out to the crowd of 450 guests and saw men, women, teens and youth completely captivated by his story and his willingness to share his difficult life story. Several guests pulled me aside after and told me that it was one of the most inspiring afternoons they had ever participated in, and I attribute this to Brian and his powerful words."