Wentworth Miller Responds to Body-Shaming Meme, Opens Up About Suicide Struggle

? "I have to admit, it hurt to breathe.?"

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Actor Wentworth Miller reposted a meme of himself on Facebook yesterday not for laughs, but to share an important message about mental health. The meme put two photos of himself at different weights side-by-side with the caption, "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly..."

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Miller used it as an opportunity to be honest about a difficult time in his life: "In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons," he wrote. "First and foremost, I was suicidal." 

 

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Wentworth, best known for his starring role in Prison Break, says he "suffered in silence" and considered himself "damaged goods." He struggled with depression since childhood and found himself again down the path of self-destruction:

"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."

The photo of him in the red shirt was taken by paparazzi in 2010 while he was on a hike in Los Angeles. It was then published alongside earlier photos of him with headlines like "Hunk to Chunk" and "Fit to Flab." His mother called him after seeing the photo in a magazine. "In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed," Miller wrote, adding that he survived and is now glad to see 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."

As Miller shows, body-shaming can hurt everyone. He urged people to reach out to those who are struggling and shared a list of resources like Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Active Minds, and the Trevor Project. "They're waiting to hear from you," he wrote.

Originally posted on ELLE.com

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