Actor Wentworth Miller Opens Up About Meme That Made it 'Hurt to Breathe'

March 29th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

When actor Wentworth Miller came across a meme of himself on Monday — a split image of him in the Fox television series "Prison Break" beside a photo snapped by paparazzi several years and many pounds later — he took to opportunity to share the story behind of latter image on Facebook.

He confided that his struggle with depression led him to seek comfort in food in 2010 and that the body-shaming meme — which has since been deleted after the dude-centric website theLADBible shared it — appeared to belittle that experience and mock his weight gain. "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly," the caption above the meme read.

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the...

Posted by Wentworth Miller on Monday, March 28, 2016

After "semi-retiring from acting," Miller tried to keep a low-profile but found himself circled by paparazzi while hiking in Los Angeles. As he has discussed before, the actor was suicidal at the time and "suffered in silence," he wrote.

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

What Miller thinks about the photo today.

In the midst of his mental health struggle, the photo of him hiking — heavier than fans might have remembered him from his "Prison Break" career — appeared in tabloids along with headlines calling attention to the weight gain like "Hunk To Chunk" and "Fit To Flab."

But the image has since become a symbol of empowerment for Miller, who wrote that he was "reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without."

"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."

Miller encouraged anyone struggling with depression to seek help, to reach out to people whether that involved sending a text, writing an email, or making a phone call. "Someone cares," he wrote. "They're waiting to hear from you."

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