Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama | Mostoller/Bloomberg
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New Delhi: Former First Lady Michelle Obama has said that she has been suffering from “low-grade depression” because of the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and the “hypocrisy” of the Trump administration.

In the second episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, which aired Wednesday, Obama said managing “emotional highs and lows” required “knowing yourself” and “the things that do bring you joy”.

She made the comments while interviewing US journalist Michele Norris in her podcast. Posting the link to it on Twitter, she wrote, “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.”

“I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression,” she said during the course of the podcast. “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,” she said.

“I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself,” said Obama, adding that there have been times when she had to “surrender” to these feelings and “not be so hard” on herself.

Obama also spoke about how she has been having trouble sleeping. “I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness,” she said.

On the protests that swept the country after the murder of George Floyd by the police and how it affected her mood, the 56-year-old mother of two had strong words: “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 dehumanised, or hurt or killed, or, falsely accused of something, it is exhausting.”

The Princeton and Harvard graduate added that all of this has led to a “weight” that she hasn’t felt in her life in a while.

For the first episode of her podcast, she interviewed her husband, Barack Obama, US President Donald Trump’s predecessor. Barack Obama was the first Black president to occupy the White House and served two consecutive terms before Trump won in 2016.

Also read: White House shifts portraits of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush to ‘rarely used storage room’


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