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Michelle Obama Opens Up About Her ‘Low-Grade Depression’ During Quarantine And How She’s Managing It

"You have to recognise that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it"

In a recent episode of her new podcast, Michelle Obama revealed that she’s been struggling with “some form of low-grade depression,” largely due to the pandemic and the events that have spurred the Black Lives Matter protests. 

In conversation with The Washington Post journalist, Michele Norris, the former FLOTUS admitted that her mental health has even disrupted the regular routines that keep her going.

I’m waking up in the middle of the night, because 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.”

Reflecting on the cause, she opens up about her feelings on the current state of things. “It’s a direct result of being out of body, out of mind. Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times. 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.”

michelle obama

“I’d be remiss not 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,” she stated further in the episode.

Her anguish over George Floyd’s murder, and the subsequent events that took place, is a sentiment that sits heavy with many people right now. “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 dehumanised, 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.”

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And while it’s certainly a tumultuous time for the world, she urges the importance of knowing when to take a good break.

“You have to recognise that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it,” she said. “You kind of have to sit in it for a minute, to know, ‘Oh, I’m feeling off, so now I gotta feed myself with something better'”.

On how she manages her low points, she credits her family, “For me, my spirit is lifted when I am feeling healthy, when I am surrounded by good people, you know, so I reach out,” she said, revealing that she and her family make the time to eat do activities like puzzling together whenever possible. 

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