Breaking the Stigma: A Letter From Dr. Steve’s Heart on Mental Health

Blue graphic mens mental health

For most of 2022, due to circumstances I won’t dive into here, my mental health was on the brink of collapse. There were hours, days, weeks, and months I hit levels of depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, and grief that I never thought were possible. Then I would enter the vicious cycle of experiencing guilt for feeling those feelings because my life has been nothing short of wonderful since the minute I was born.

“How dare you have any form of depression in your life, you’ve got it made Steve”.

“Are you kidding me, you’re mad and sad about that? Suck it up man”.

“Anxious, ha, do you know how good you have it? People would kill for your so called ‘issues’”.

Every day I would wake up, devastatingly tired having gone through a night of debilitating mental anguish, and pray it would be a “good day”. However, as 2022 wore on, the “bad days” started outnumbering the “good days” and it was a freight train I didn’t know how to stop. I dreaded going to work. Not because I hated what I did or the people / patients in the office but because I knew I wasn’t good enough for the individuals I was employing / treating. I was embarrassed around my wife as I knew I wasn’t living up to the man she needed or deserved. I cried on a daily basis watching my kids’ joy and love for life praying they would never lose that excitement for living like I had.

At the end of 2022, all this came to a head and I innately knew significant change was needed or else there may be no turning back. This led me down a path of working on my self-worth and general recovery from years of self-doubt / self-sabotage. With the help of those closest to me (you know who you are) and finding a community of men in the exact same boat (thank you Jonathan), the last 18 months have been nothing short of life altering / lifesaving. Still a great deal of work to do, (let’s be honest, working on ourselves is never “over”), but the foundation on how to tackle toxic / intrusive thoughts is there.

You are probably asking yourselves why is Dr. Steve pouring his heart and soul out to thousands of people. Simple, if I (a type A, OCD, stubborn headed, reluctant to change, martyr) was able to address my mental health, everyone else going through the same struggles has a punchers chance. I know I’m not the only one who has had (or still has) these feelings and even though I don’t have all the answers, I’ve been through hell and back and am here for anyone fighting their inner demons.

My ask is simple, don’t take this letter lightly. Not because I want you to feel sorry for what I went through or have pity for the state I was (and sometimes am still) in. It’s because I want you to know there is someone here for you. If you have ever felt anything similar to the above, reach out.

Again, I don’t have all the answers but I’m here to help navigate any / all steps you need to take for your health and well-being.

The first step is the realization something isn’t “quite right” and that you are not alone. The next step is to reach out to me directly as I’m here for all of it. YOU are the most important person in YOUR life and until YOU work on YOU from the inside out, the feeling of endless drowning will never end.

From the bottom of my heart, everyone reading this has someone here who cares about YOU.

Dr. Steve.

“It’s alright, don’t sweat my friend.  

We all feel it alone, now and then.  

That crawling only steals on you.  

Don’t let the heavy one hold back the dawn in you.”

Dawn by Goose.

Reach out to Dr. Steve

About Team Antoniotti

We believe that healthy families make healthy communities, and we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Kalamazoo – one mother, one child, one family at a time.

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Dr. Erika

The road to becoming a chiropractor has been a scenic but educational one. After my own incredible experience with chiropractic care, I moved to Dallas in 2013 to attend Parker University and begin the journey to serve others.
Upon graduating, I worked in a rehab based clinic located in Irving, TX which prepared me with significant clinical knowledge in addition to expanding my experience into nutrition, physical therapy, and a variety of other palliative modalities. 
When the stars aligned for me to move back to Kalamazoo, falling in stride along Dr. Kate and Dr. Steve was an easy transition.  Their passion for serving the community of Kalamazoo is contagious and motivating! 
I welcomed my son Max in 2015 and my daughter Amelia in 2016. They motivate me daily to make positive choices and look at the big picture, both at home and at work. 
My desire is to educate our patients and create a sense of autonomy and confidence when it comes to their health! I look forward to working with the incredible people of southwest Michigan – hope to see you in the office soon!

Dr. Steve

After graduating from Miami University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the school of Kinesiology and Health, and double minor in Business and Coaching, I began a four-year chiropractic program at Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri outside of St. Louis. In addition to the required chiropractic curriculum, I completed classes and performed research in advanced biomechanics, functional rehabilitation, kinetic chain analysis, and musculoskeletal therapies. This extra-curricular education has given me an edge in treating patients, allowing me to identify dysfunctions often overlooked by other providers.

Upon graduation from Logan College of Chiropractic in 2011, I moved to Indianapolis and started my own practice, PEAK Chiropractic. During my experience of owning and operating PEAK, I gained invaluable experience on how to treat patients of all levels and how to run a successful chiropractic practice. So, when my uncle, Dr. David Antoniotti, called my wife, Dr. Kate Antoniotti, and me with the offer to buy, run, and continue the tradition of Antoniotti Chiropractic in Kalamazoo, saying “yes” was extremely easy.

In March of 2016 Dr. Kate and I welcomed our son, Leo, to the world. And in October of 2018, our daughter, Rose, was born, making us a family of four. 

It is an honor to be continuing my family’s 50-year tradition of chiropractic care in Kalamazoo and I look forward to seeing you in the office!

Dr. Kate

I have always been interested in health, fitness, and human potential. After going through my own personal health struggles in college, I became passionate about holistic and preventative healthcare. This led me to pursue a B.Sc. degree in Exercise Science & Kinesiology- with the ultimate goal of becoming a Chiropractor.

After graduating from Miami University, I moved to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Logan College of Chiropractic, where I earned my D.C. degree. While at Logan, I did additional studies in nutrition, pediatrics, and women’s health. It was during my four years in St. Louis, where I also discovered my love for yoga, and eventually became a yoga teacher (200-RYT).

Dr. Steve and I welcomed our son, Leo, to the world in March 2016. And then in October 2018 we welcomed our daughter, Rose, to the family. Becoming a mom has been a defining moment in my life, both personally and professionally.

With my background in chiropractic, yoga, nutrition, pediatrics and women’s health – I have focused my practice to specifically address the needs of Moms. I deeply care about the health and wellbeing of our children, and I strongly believe that we need healthy Moms in order to have healthy kids.

By directing my focus on pregnancy chiropractic care, post-partum wellness, and pediatric chiropractic – I am hopeful that I am doing my small part in improving the health of our community.

Hey Mama!

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