'Prison Break' star Wentworth Miller says he was suicidal at the time of "fat meme" photo
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has responded to a meme making fun of his past weight gain, revealing that he was suicidally depressed at the time the picture was taken.
The 43-year-old opened up about his mental health on his Facebook page, posting a viral meme contrasting his physique at the time of making Prison Break to a later, undated paparazzi shot where he's noticeably heavier.
Miller, who is currently shooting a new rebooted series of Prison Break as well as starring in DC's Legends Of Tomorrow, identified the latter picture as dating from 2010.
"In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons," Miller wrote. "First and foremost, I was suicidal.
"This is a subject I've since written about, spoken about, shared about. But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few."
"Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.
I've struggled with depression since childhood. It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.
In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.
And I put on weight. Big f--king deal.
One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. "Hunk To Chunk." "Fit To Flab." Etc.
My mother has one of those "friends" who's always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.
Anyway. Still. Despite.
The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.
Of myself and others.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They're waiting to hear from you. Much love. - W.M. #koalas#inneractivist#prisonbroken"
Miller has spoken about his mental health struggles before, most memorably in 2013 in which he came out as gay at a human rights dinner.
Social media users have been floored by Miller's honesty. In addition to Twitter praise, the Facebook post has been shared over 65,000 times so far.
And Wentworth Miller is incredible for speaking out about mental health and men's body image 😩💕 what a guy!
— Grace 🌿 (@GraceFVictory) March 29, 2016
— Antony Cotton (@antonycotton) March 29, 2016
If you're struggling with mental problems, here are some resources: