It’s not very often that a celebrity openly discusses issues of mental health, depression, and suicide on his or her own terms. But yesterday, Wentworth Miller, star of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Prison Break, and most importantly, Mariah Carey’s 2005 We Belong Together music video took to Facebook to address some deeply personal issues.
Earlier in the day, The LAD Bible’s wildly popular Facebook page posted a meme of Miller from 2010, mocking his body. I’m not sure if the site expected Miller to actually see the post, but that doesn’t matter. He did.
And Miller took to Facebook not to simply shut them and any other haters down, but to share some context behind the picture and why it struck a nerve. Miller revealed that that photo on the right was taken during a very intense period of depression, when he was suicidal. He wrote:
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.
And in a rare moment for celebrity culture, he wrote simply and succinctly and without any apology, “And I put on weight. Big f—king deal.”
Keep in mind, there’s a solid correlation between depression and weight gain, and a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that those with depressive symptoms tend to gain weight faster than people without the symptoms. Weight fluctuation is a part of life and a big part of living with depression.
Miller went on to write, “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.”
For what it’s worth, The LAD Bible took down the meme, posted an apology to Miller, and included a list of suicide outreach organizations, as Miller did in his post. While this was a nice gesture, who knows if the site would have done anything if Miller hadn't called them out.