Human Rights

Michelle Obama Admits to ‘Low-Grade Depression’ Due to Trump’s ‘Hypocrisy’, George Floyd Unrest and Quarantine

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has a brand-new podcast on Spotify, which she uploaded Wednesday, and it features a discussion with NPR’s Michele Norris. During the discussion, Michelle, 56, admitted she is “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” due to the pandemic, the ongoing racial strife, and the “hypocrisy” of the Trump administration.

The discussion was quite candid and Michelle noted she deals with “emotional highs and lows,” and sharply criticized Trump for his inaction, saying it is “exhausting and dispiriting” to watch his response (or lack of one) to ‘yet another story’ of a Black man or person being killed or injured as a result, Mail Online reports.

“Spiritually these are not fulfilling times,” she added.

She’s not wrong. These are disquieting times for anyone with a sense of kindness and decency.

And like many of us, Michelle notes she’s struggling with 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.”

“I don’t think I’m unusual in that,” she told Norris. “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.”

Dealing with this in the time of the Trump administration has been exhausting, Michelle noted.

“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,” she said.

So she works to keep herself physically and mentally healthy and surrounds herself with family and friends when she can.

“I reach out to my family, and to my friends, even in this time of quarantine,” Michelle said. “You know I fought to continue to find a way to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, and my girlfriends, my husband, my kids.”

“It’s the small things, small rituals [that make a difference],” she added.

During her time as First Lady, Michelle said she learned to stick to a routine, but lately, that’s been difficult and it’s causing her to lose sleep.

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night ’cause I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness,” she said.

She strives to get in a workout each day, but even that’s been tough to do sometimes.

“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.”

But along with those off days Michelle noted she’s trying to deal with the situation for what it is so that she can come out of it in a positive way.

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

The two women discussed the ongoing race problems in the U.S., and Obama mentioned “We talk about white women clutching their purses at the sight of us or feeling uncomfortable when we walk in the store, but I wonder ‘Do you know how afraid we are?'”

The Trump administration has awakened sleeping racism in the U.S. Hidden under decades of progress, one man has awakened a sleeping giant once again. It’s a good idea to imagine ourselves in other people’s shoes. That leads to greater understanding and we surely need that now.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity.

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