Former first lady Michelle Obama has maintained a public persona since leaving the White House in 2017, including her latest role as the host of her own podcast.
In her latest episode, which aired on Wednesday, she revealed that she had been “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” as this tumultuous year continues to drag on, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Not fulfilling times”
“These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually,” she said, going on to list some of her symptoms as sleeplessness and decreased motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“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,” Obama added.
While the ongoing lockdowns and social distancing imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have taken their toll, she said there are plenty of other factors at play in negatively affecting her mood.
She said she believes her depression was brought on in part “because of the racial strife and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out,” which she described as “dispiriting.”
Noting that she feels as though she is under a weight that she has not felt in some time, Obama said that she has “gone through those emotional highs and lows” that many others have experienced in recent months.
“Just not feeling that treadmill”
“And sometimes I’ve, there’ve been a week or so where I had to surrender to that and not be so hard on myself,” she said. “And say, you know what, you’re just not feeling that treadmill right now.”
Her most recent account was not entirely negative, though, and she pointed to some opportunities for her family to bond as a silver lining to the current situation.
“Barack has taught the girls Spades, and now there’s this vicious competition,” she said. “They wouldn’t have sat down, but for this quarantine, to learn how to play a card game with their dad.”
Some might find it surprising that a former first lady living with the advantages that come with such a position would be struggling with depression.
By opening up about her feelings, however, it becomes even clearer that a convergence of crises continues to have an impact on Americans of all stripes.