How Michelle Obama Opening Up About Depression Helps End The Stigma of Mental Health

In the second episode of her new podcastThe Michelle Obama Podcast, the former first lady revealed that she has been suffering from ‘low-grade depression” as an effect of quarantine and news about civil unrest and politics.

“There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low,” Mrs. Obama said, adding that her sleep was off.

External Stressors That Contribute to Depression

We know that depression is a complex condition. Biological, psychological, and environmental stressors all play a role in the impact of depression. Mrs. Obama opened up about the external stressors that are making her feel “off” and many of us can likely relate.

We’re living in an unprecedented time.

​We’re all being asked to adjust and adapt to this ‘new normal’ caused by a global pandemic and it can really weigh you down.

The psychological effects of the pandemic are not yet fully clear. But, in May, the World Health Organization warned of a “massive increase in mental health conditions in the coming months.” The anxiety, stress, isolation, and fear of COVID-19 are external stressors that can fuel bouts of anxiety and depression.

More than 1 in 3 Americans reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Comparatively, a year ago, that figure was 1 in 10.

Clearly, the psychological impact of COVID-19 is starting to set in for many Americans and people across the world. What’s worse is that so many people suffer silently and are afraid to come forward and get help because of the stigma surrounding mental health.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Ending The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

When Michelle Obama and other prominent public figures and celebrities talk about depression, it helps normalize the conversation surrounding mental health. We’re thankful for her willingness to help put mental health in the spotlight at a time when we need it the most.

It’s important to remember that depression can bring down the best people -none of us are immune! You can’t “snap out of it”. Major depression is so much more than just feeling sad or having a bad day. No one chooses to be depressed. Depression can’t be cured with positive thoughts or a positive attitude.

Depression can zap your energy for living life.
It can wear you down and make you feel empty inside.
Depression can rob you of creativity, motivation, and happiness in life.

Even when it’s low-grade, depression can cause a lingering feeling of sadness, irritability, agitation, social withdrawal, loss of interest, and hopelessness. Unfortunately, there’s a dangerously untrue association between depression and “weakness” that’s part of the toxic stigma surrounding mental health.

Treating Depression In Our Long Beach Community

Mental illnesses don’t discriminate. It’s OK to not be OK especially during these challenging times. Luckily, there are many effective treatments available to help those who suffer from depression live happy and fulfilling lives. Don’t suffer in silence.

At Pacific Mind Health, convenience is key. With offices throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, our patients are able to get consistent care without the additional stress of traffic. All of our providers are also trained in and available for psychiatric care through our innovative telemedicine program.

We’re here to help you find relief so you can get back to enjoying your life! Start by giving our office at
562-279-0180 or fill out a form