People of all sexes, all age groups and all social classes develop depression. In this country, according to the AOK health insurance, over eleven percent of all women and over five percent of all men. One of the many famous people who has spoken publicly about their depression is Michelle Obama.
In her podcast she had already mentioned last year that she was struggling with “mild depression”. In an interview with the magazine “People”, Barack Obama’s wife and former First Lady of the USA spoke in more detail about the connection between the pandemic situation and mental health, as well as her own illness, as reported by “Spiegel”.
The corona pandemic and its consequences are therefore worsening the mental state of those who are already ill or prone to mental illness. In a survey by the US epidemic agency CDC in the summer, 41 percent of Americans said they suffered from mental health problems as a result of the pandemic.
“So we need to talk more about mental health. Everyone deals with trauma, fear and the other stresses differently, ”said Michelle Obama in an interview. At first it was not easy for her to talk about her illness – or to be aware of it at all.
“I had to admit what I was going through”
“I had to admit to myself what I was going through,” says the 57-year-old. There is still a stigma attached to depression. It is therefore very difficult for many of those affected to admit to themselves that they are sick – they assume that the situation is already over. “We often think that we have to hide that part of us, that we have to stand above it and not give the impression that we are kicking hard beneath the surface,” said Michelle Obama.
In the beginning, the situation in the Obama’s corona pandemic was still very harmonious, as Michelle Obama reports: “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were all happy to spend time together”. This was a welcome change from everyday life, in which little time was left for the family, said Obama.
The longer the lockdown lasted, however, the more tense it became at the Obamas’ home: “I think our children got tired of us at some point,” she says. The marriage with ex-President Barack Obama did not suffer from the pandemic: “He just didn’t have time to get on my nerves because he had to work on his book,” joked Michelle Obama. The first volume of his memoirs called “A Promised Land” was only published in November 2020.
You can read the whole interview here.