In a recent episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, the former First Lady of the United States spoke about the burden that recent events have placed on her mental health.
"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 just seeing this [Trump] administration — watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out — is dispiriting.
"I'm waking up in the middle of the night because I'm worrying about something or there's a heaviness."
Watch: the difference between sadness and depression.
Those feelings — lack of enthusiasm, worry, heaviness — will be familiar to many people right now.
Research conducted during the first month of COVID-19 lockdown back in May found that, of the 13,829 Australians surveyed, one quarter (26.5 per cent) were experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression.
As trite as it may sound, we're living through an unprecedented challenge and we've all been impacted in one way or another. Home lives have changed, jobs have been lost or redefined, relationships reshaped.
It's little wonder we are feeling the weight of it all.
But how do we deal with it? Are those feelings a sign of clinical depression? And at what point should we seek help?
Depressive symptoms versus depression.
She explained that while 'low-grade depression' isn't a formal diagnosis, it's a very real thing.
"We would probably call it non-clinical depression," she told Mamamia. "It's absolutely something we understand as professionals and it's something that, yes, we have been seeing."
The most common signs she's observed among patients include loss of motivation, increased appetite, sleeping longer than usual and less communication with friends and family (often despite feelings of loneliness).