New York Psychiatrist Says Stressors Such As Coronavirus, Racial Strife Can Trigger Depression

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Former First Lady Michelle Obama is opening up about her mental health.

She revealed in her podcast that she thinks she’s suffering from low-grade depression. She says the pandemic, race relations in the U.S. and the political strife surrounding it all is to blame, and she’s not alone.

It was a remarkably candid admission, especially coming from a former first lady. Michelle Obama admitted that these trying times have sometimes affected her mental health.

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


Mrs. Obama later went on to say, “Waking up to, yet another, story of a Black person somehow being dehumanized or killed or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. It has led to a weight, that I haven’t felt in my life, in, in a while.”

There is a lot to be depressed about — racial strife and protests, the spreading pandemic, massive unemployment, whether to reopen schools, a tropical storm… oh, and don’t forget the murder hornets.

Psychiatrist Dr. Victor Fornari of the Zucker Hillside Hospital says Mrs. Obama is by no means alone. This multitude of stressors can easily trigger depression in even the happiest of people.

“About 1 in 5 U.S. citizens will meet criteria for depression at some point during their lifetime. So depression is a prevalent and significant public health problem,” Fornari told CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.


Fornari suggested we all take time for some mindfulness activities — yoga, exercise, meditation — and get enough sleep, eat regularly and watch your alcohol and drug intake.

If you’re still feeling low, seek professional help.


Leave a Reply