On Wednesday, Michelle Obama revealed on The Michelle Obama Podcast that she is suffering from "low-grade depression" because of the pandemic, race relations in the US and the political tensions surrounding it all.
"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."
This is a familiar feeling for many Americans.
According to a Census Bureau survey, one in three Americans are reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety, a rate more than three times than was reported by a similar survey conducted in the first half of 2019. With social distancing being one of the best ways to fight coronavirus, people have had to endure long stretches of time without seeing their loved ones, making the already widespread problem of loneliness even worse, which can be particularly harmful to one's mental health.
Michelle also discussed the racial tensions in America following the death of George Floyd on May 25. She stated that it was "exhausting" to wake “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 talked about her frustration with people who refuse to 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," she stated. "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 explained that while "we've been through tough times in this nation" before, "we are in a unique moment in history... We are living through something that no one in our lifetimes has lived through."
On Thursday, she sent out an Instagram post assuring her 40.8 million followers: "I just wanted to check in with you all because a lot of you have been checking in on me after hearing this week's podcast. First things first—I'm doing just fine. There's no reason to worry about me."
She explained that it was okay to acknowledge that the world around us can affect our well-being.
"The idea that what this country is going through shouldn't have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all the time—that just doesn't feel real to me. So I hope you all are allowing yourselves to feel whatever it is you're feeling," she said.
Sources: America Now