Wentworth Miller Stars in PSA About Living With Depression

By Kelly Burch 09/15/16

Miller has been open about his life-long struggles with depression in an effort to destigmatize the illness.

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Wentworth Miller Stars in PSA About Living With Depression
Photo via The Mighty Site/YouTube

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is starring in a new PSA that aims to capture the daily hell that sufferers of depression endure, in order to bring attention to the illness and show people currently suffering that there is hope. 

"Is this worth it? What’s the point? I’ve failed everyone. I can’t to it anymore," actors in the video proclaim, capturing the isolation and hopelessness that depressed people feel.

The PSA was produced by The Mighty, a site dedicated to sharing the personal stories of those living with mental illness, disabilities, and disease. The video concludes with Miller, who recently opened up about his own experiences with depression. 

“Don’t be afraid to take the first step,” he says. “Someone cares, and they’re waiting to hear from you.”

Miller, who gained fame on Fox’s Prison Break, has spoken about his own battles with depression and suicidal ideation. “In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I was suicidal,” Miller wrote in a March Facebook post. “Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods.”

For Miller, as for many sufferers, caring for his mental health has been a lifelong battle. “I've struggled with depression since childhood,” he wrote. “It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.”

Although Miller’s story is heartbreaking, it is not unique. Depression is the leading cause of disability around the world, affecting about 350 million people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Fewer than half of people suffering receive treatment, according to WHO, partially because of stigma associated with depression and mental illness. 

Because of this, suicide is the second most common cause of death for 15- to 29-year-olds around the world, claiming 800,000 lives annually. 

Miller wrote his heart-wrenching post in response to an internet meme that poked fun at his weight gain, which the star said was a side effect of depression. 

“The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe,” he wrote in his Facebook post. “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 called for people struggling with depression to get help from organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Active Minds, or the Trevor Project.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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