In the United States of America, an estimated 14.8 million people suffer from some form of depressive symptoms. These symptoms can be experienced as mild, moderate, or severe. This can mean that the individual experiences some sadness or can feel completely debilitated. People who suffer from depression may feel empty or hopeless, tired, experience anxiety, or suffer from sudden angry outbursts. Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, has voiced on her podcast about her own experiences with mild depression in 2020 and shared her feelings on Covid-19, President Trump, and her feelings of George Floyd’s death.

Obama expressed feeling burned out with the state of the U.S, as our world seems to have turned upside down. Some individuals trust in scientific research and wear masks to slow the spread of Covid-19 and some refuse and claim it is a hoax and infringes on their First Amendment. Racial bias and tension are at an all-time high as Black Lives Matter protests clash with Alt-Right and our President continues to stroke the fire rather than seek to create a unified America. George Floyd’s name and senseless death have become a rallying cry for racial equality even though segregation ended in 1954.

Obama expressed in her podcast that racial unrest was alive and thriving in the U.S. and she is saddened by how George Floyd has been dehumanized as a human. Floyd lost his life on May 25, 2020, when an officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes, ignoring protests from people watching and Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe!” Obama also expressed her fear that Russia will again hack the 2020 Election.

As the U.S.A. has not had a permanent lockdown to slow cases, people fear going back to work but also cannot afford not to return. Mortgage payments have a 6 month grace period before demanding the full payment all at once, individuals are evicted from rentals even though evictions were to be suspended and now fears of opening up schools for susceptible children weigh heavily on the minds of parents and caretakers alike. As unemployment rates jump and are suspected to surpass that of the Great Depression, depression is becoming prevalent in everyday lives as people struggle with the new ‘normal’.

Obama finds that speaking with family and friends using both her phone and other telecommunication technologies helps rejuvenate and remind her that there are reasons to be happy in a world so overcome with sadness. She also emphasizes that those who feel the effects of depression should find a way to find their good in the world and feed their soul. People may do so by exercising, painting, writing, gardening, or simply listening to music. Whatever helps the individual rest and recharge, Obama also emphasized being gentle with oneself and not expect to do a thing they love every day. A habit takes dedication and time and it is okay to fall off the bandwagon sometimes.