Skip to Content

Michelle Obama Says She Is Suffering From Depression

THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2020 -- Former First Lady Michelle Obama said Wednesday that she is suffering from "low-grade depression."

"I'm waking up in the middle of the night because I'm worrying about something or there's a heaviness," Obama said during her "The Michelle Obama Podcast." "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."

It's a familiar feeling for many Americans. A U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 1 in 3 Americans are feeling the same, with symptoms of depression or anxiety. That is more than three times the rate seen in a survey done in 2019, CNN reported.

Obama also talked about race relations since the death of George Floyd. It's "exhausting" to be "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," she said.

Obama added that she was frustrated with people who won't wear masks.

"There's almost like there's a limit to our sacrifice and it was about a month, and then we just got tired of the virus. That's been disheartening to see so many people who have grown tired of staying at home because the virus didn't impact them," she said.

"We've been through tough times in this nation" but, "we are in a unique moment in history … We are living through something that no one in our lifetimes has lived through," Obama noted.

One mental health expert appreciated Obama's candor.

"I applaud Michelle Obama for her leadership and courage in sharing the personal story of her depression," said Dr. Victor Fornari, a psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York City. "Mrs. Obama is a powerful champion for positive social change. During these unprecedented times, heightened anxiety and depressed mood have been quite prevalent. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the source of enormous stress for everyone."

This, coupled with the racial injustice and the tragic death of George Floyd, "has unleashed an enormous outpouring of frustration and demand for racial equality and demand for change," Fornari said.

"Through the brave self-disclosures of prominent individuals like Mrs. Obama, it is hoped that others will seek care and not feel embarrassed or ashamed of their emotional struggles," he added. "This self-disclosure will help to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness."

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Read this next

Provincetown Outbreak Shows Delta Can Spread Among Vaccinated, But Cases Are Mild

FRIDAY, July 30, 2021 -- The Cape Cod resort town of Provincetown draws big crowds every summer. In July, those largely vaccinated crowds -- packed into bars, restaurants and...

Some Missouri Residents Getting COVID Shots in Secret, Fearing Loved Ones' Ire

FRIDAY, July 30, 2021 -- Some Missourians are sneaking off to get COVID-19 shots because their family and friends would disapprove, a doctor says. "They've had some experience...

Teens' Heart Risk From COVID Far Exceeds That of Vaccination: Study

FRIDAY, July 30, 2021 -- Teens have a far greater risk of heart inflammation from COVID-19 than from the vaccines that protect against it, new research shows. "Comparative risk...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.