Michelle Obama revealed she is “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” that she says has partly been brought on by President Donald Trump’s actions.
The former first lady made the comment during “The Michelle Obama Podcast” while discussing mental health with former NPR anchor Michele Norris.
Obama said in an episode released Wednesday: “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.”
Norris added that during the time of “tumult and uncertainty,” many people are feeling “the highs and the lows.”
“They’ve been real for me, and you know, I don’t think I’m unusual in that. 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,” Obama said.
“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, “It has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life in a while.”
Obama said she is working through the depression by keeping a routine, working out, getting outside and spending time with her family.
“For me, there’s no magic to it, but it is, effort, right. Because you have to recognize that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it,” she said.
Obama said she learned the technique of filling herself with “something better” during her time in the White House.
“And sometimes, for me, that means turning it off. Right, it means turning off the phone, not taking in the news, because it is negative energy,” she said.
Obama has previously spoken out about the Black Lives Matter protests that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.
“Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop,” she wrote in a May 29 Instagram post.
“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it.”
She added that everyone needs to work on “self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own.”
“It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets,” Obama wrote.
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