Michelle Obama Gets Candid About Her Mental Health and 'Low-Grade Depression'

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Michelle Obama opened up about her mental-health trials during the coronavirus pandemic, sharing in a recent interview that she’s been experiencing “low-grade depression.” She says this is due, in part, to the “racial strife” in the United States and the “hypocrisy” of the current administration.

In an episode of her podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast, which aired this week, the former First Lady talked to journalist Michele Norris about the importance of keeping to a routine and how she and former President Barack Obama have been managing life in 2020.

"For Barack and I, we've lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time, and what we learned early on in the White House is that in order to stay sane — and to feel like the human that you once were — is that you have to have a schedule, and a routine that's pretty lockstep," she said, adding that she tries to wake up around the same time every day and workout daily.

The 56-year-old shared that, in the last few months, she’s been through "emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don't feel yourself, and sometimes I've, there've been, uh, a week or so where I had to surrender to that, and not be so hard on myself."

“These are not fulfilling times, spiritually. So, I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting," she told Norris.

Obama went on to say that she has to periodically give herself a break because of that stress and doesn’t keep with her routine sometimes. Later in the podcast, she said that “part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country since its birth.”

“I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting," she added. "And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life in a while."

The Chicago native rolled out her podcast last month and has been popping up more and more in the news as the country inches closer to the November election. Many fans of Obama have implored Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden to select her as his vice president running mate, despite her previously saying publicly that she would not want to do the job.

CircleAround is spotlighting some of our favorite Wellness Warriors for National Wellness Month, running all through the month of August.

Tags: Mental Health, Pop Culture, Mental Health

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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