Michelle Obama’s crucial message on depression

Michelle Obama has spoken out about low-level depression. (Photo: Michelle Obama, Facebook)

Michelle Obama says she is dealing with “low-grade depression”, in an important contribution to the debate over mental health during the coronavirus crisis.

On her new podcast Mrs Obama explained to her guest, journalist Michele Norris, that she feels it has been brought on by the combination of racial profiling, the political position American is in and the pandemic.

“Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times,” Mrs Obama said .

“So, I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness.”

Depression affects millions of people worldwide. According to the Beyond Blue website, three million Australians live with anxiety and depression.

Depression comes in many forms. On Healthline.com, nine different types of depression are listed: major depression, persistent depression, manic depression, social depression, situational depression, perinatal depression, depressive, premenstrual and atypical depression.

There are many symptoms.

  • deep feelings of sadness
  • dark moods
  • feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • appetite changes
  • sleep changes
  • lack of energy
  • inability to concentrate
  • difficulty getting through your normal activities
  • lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • withdrawing from friends
  • preoccupation with death or thoughts of self-harm

In Australia, under Medicare, everyone can access a partially subsidised mental health plan with a referral from their GP and the Federal Government has just announced an extension of the number of sessions it will fund per year.

Get immediate support at the Beyond Blue Support Service or via other national crisis and help lines.