Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday, Aug. 5, said that she is dealing with “low-grade depression” due to the CCP Virus (coronavirus) lockdown, racial strife in the United States, and the Trump administration.
“I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade 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,” Obama said in her podcast with Washington Post columnist Michele Norris.
“I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself,” Obama told her podcast listeners.
“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,” she said. “It has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life—in, in a while.”
We’ve all been dealing with a lot of change in our lives and our communities. And I couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to about this moment then my friend, @michele_norris. You can listen now on @Spotify: https://t.co/9GyFmLFAid #MichelleObamaPodcast pic.twitter.com/fmdOuJlsRO
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 5, 2020
Obama is not the only one feeling depressed during the lockdown. A recent study completed by the U.S. Census Bureau found that 35.6 Americans are suffering from anxiety and/or depression during this time, according to Fox News.
Other countries have also seen a surge in the mental health crisis caused by a severe lockdown and job losses. Officials in Melbourne, Australia, estimated at least a 25 percent increase in suicide rates in rural and regional areas with pre-existing high levels of unemployment and educational disadvantage. In Nepal, an average of 18 people have killed themselves every day since the lockdown.
President Donald Trump has been pushing for Americans to return to work, warning that there will be “suicides by the thousands” if entire sectors of the U.S. economy remain shut down during the pandemic.
“We have to put the country to work,” he said on Fox News in March. “You are going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you are going to lose more people by putting the country in a massive recession or depression.”
“You are going to lose people. You are going to have suicides by the thousands,” he continued. “You can’t just come in and say, ‘Let’s close up the United States of America.'”