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Michelle Obama opens up about 'low-grade' depression

She has started a nationwide conversation about something many of us are going through right now.

Right now, the world is in need of healing. Whether you're worn out from trying your best to find some sense of normalcy during the pandemic or you're trying to fight for racial equity without losing hope...it's a hard time.

Today, someone with a huge platform has just come out and raised her hand to say yes, her too-- she too suffers from depression.

That someone is the former first lady, Michelle Obama.

Speaking candidly on her newly launched podcast, Michelle Obama opened up about her feelings during this uncertain time.

"I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression," she said. "Not just because of the quarantine but because of the racial strife and this administration--the hypocrisy of it day in and day out, is dispiriting."

While it is disheartening to hear about an individual going through a tough time, therapist Gabe Gebremicael of Sunrise Recovery Services in St. Paul said he's glad to see someone of Mrs. Obama's stature speak up about something many might be going through.

"Our heroes, the giants among us to say I struggle too--that helps," he said. "That helps because it normalizes it."

Let's be real, life is on double-hard mode right now and therapists are in demand.

"That's especially been the case after the murder of George Floyd," Gebremicael said. "What I've noticed as a mental health professional is that there was an uptick in need, after such a traumatic event. For children, youth, adults and when you add that to the complications of COVID-19, it's been pretty evident."

"They've been real for me," Michelle Obama said on her podcast. "I don't think I'm unusual in that, I'd be remiss to say that part of this depression is a result we're seeing in terms of protests, the continued racial unrest that has plagued this country since its birth."

Gebremicael said he's seeing a lot of clients coming to him with depression and anxiety these days.

"Right now, anxiety more than depression because there's so much uncertainty in our society," he said. "There's uncertainty in regards to, 'where am I going to work a month from now?' 'will I have my job?' 'will my kids go to school' and a lack of sense of control."

Gebremicael encouraged folks to get in touch with themselves and if you feel like you can't handle things alone, it's 100 percent okay to ask for assistance. He added that finding a therapist or a counselor who resonates with you on multiple levels is a bonus.

He explained finding someone to talk to who can connect with you on a racial level can be extremely beneficial.

"One essential aspect of therapy is therapeutic rapport and relationship and understanding," he said. "Often when clients are seeking a therapist, they're looking for someone who gets it and who understands and who does not have to teach about their lived experiences."

If you feel that speaking to someone would be beneficial to you, Gebremicael suggested checking these resources out.


Psychology Today

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