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Wentworth Miller says depression led to weight gain and suicidal thoughts

He urges help for those who are struggling

CNN  — 

Actor Wentworth Miller had a poignant comeback after he became the subject of a meme because of his weight gain: He penned an open letter about depression and being suicidal.

Miller, who found fame as the buff star of Fox’s action drama “Prison Break” and now stars in the CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow,” posted the meme on his official Facebook page. The picture shows the actor, lean and tattooed as he was on the show, next to a heavier image of him with the caption, “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly …”

In response, Miller wrote, “In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I was suicidal.

“In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction,” wrote Miller, who also described battling depression since childhood. “And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to.”

Some weeks, all he looked forward to was his “favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF.” Consequently, he gained weight.

“One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show,” Miller wrote. “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.”

The star said that although seeing the image initially hurt him, he has managed to transform it into a source of pride.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

Miller ended his post with links to helpful websites for others who are struggling with depression or are suicidal. “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.”