Michelle Obama reveals how she’s managing her ‘Low-Grade Depression’

Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 11: Former First Lady Michelle Obama attends ‘Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama’ at State Farm Arena on May 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

I don’t know anyone who’s not battling a dark cloud these days. It’s been tough with the economic collapse, mass evictions, federal troops, and ongoing pandemic. Everyone’s feeling it—even former first lady Michelle Obama.

In the latest episode of her new podcast, Obama revealed that she too has been “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,” Obama said during a discussion with Michele Norris, the former anchor of NPR’s All Things Considered.

As the two talked about mental health, Obama discussed how the Trump Administration’s actions have played a role in her depression. She even admits that she’s not unique for feeling this way.

“I don’t think I’m unusual in that,” Obama said. “But I’d be remiss to say 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. And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.”

The depression has made it hard for Obama to sleep or keep up with her exercise lately, which, same.

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night, ’cause I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness,” she said. “I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low. You know, I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself, and sometimes there’s been a week or so where I had to surrender to that, and not be so hard on myself. And say, ‘You know what? You’re just not feeling that treadmill right now.’”

The Becoming author did have some advice for taking care of yourself during the wreck that is 2020.

“I reach out to my family, and to my friends, even in this time of quarantine…to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, and my girlfriends, my husband, my kids,” she said. “It’s the small things.”

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