- Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday said she’s been managing “some form of low-grade depression” in 2020.
- Obama attributed this, in part, to the Trump administration’s “hypocrisy.”
- “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,” the former first lady said.
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Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday said she has been “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” this year, attributing it, in part, to the “hypocrisy” of the Trump administration.
“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,” Obama said on the latest episode of “The Michelle Obama Podcast” while speaking with NPR anchor Michele Norris.
“I don’t think I’m unusual in that,” Obama added. “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. 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.”
Obama said she’s struggled to keep a routine this year, particularly in terms of sleep and exercise.
Data shows that the former first lady is not alone in feeling this way in 2020.
Polling released in June showed that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years and exhibiting historically low levels of national pride. In the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted in late May by NORC at the University of Chicago, just 14% of American respondents said they were very happy. Comparatively, 31% said the same in 2018.
And Census Bureau data released in May found a third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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