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    Psychologist Dr. Shannae Anderson: “Unemployment linked to suicide rates”

    By Michael Hernandez 

    NEWBURY PARK—“When unemployment increases by one percent, there is a .78 percent increase in the suicide rates,” said 15-year licensed psychologist Dr. Shannae Anderson during a Thursday 7 p.m. “Fireside Chat.”   These statistics come from a March 22 Psychology Today post written by Dr. Glenn Sullivan on “Will COVID-19 make the suicide crisis worse?” “Unemployment is a well-established risk factor for suicide. In fact, 1 in 3 people who die by suicide are unemployed at the time of their deaths.

    The article reports:  “In 2018, the U.S. suicide rate was already at 14.8 per 100,000—dangerously close to those Great Depression rates. The average rate between 2008 and 2018 was about 13.1 per 100,000.  If the U.S. rate jumps in the same manner it did after the 1929 stock market crash, then the national suicide rate could rise to 16.6 per 100,000. In other words, 2021 could see more than 54,000 deaths by suicide (versus about 48,000 in 2018. The 6,000 excess deaths—would be additional victims of the coronavirus emergency and its economic impact.”

    “People are  scared of this virus that they are going to get it and die. Their loved ones will get it and die,” said Dr. Anderson. “It is causing a lot of anxiety, anger and irritability.  What people are experiencing is this dreaded fear that I could die at any moment. I can’t see if this virus is near me.”

    Dr. Anderson said that people are operating from the middle-part of the brain which is linked to emotions rather than the top-part of the brain which deals with thinking. “People are scared.

    “I am stuck at home. My freedom is wiped away. I have a sense of helplessness and little or no control of much of my life. This creates profound stress on my nervous system which effects my immunity to get the virus.

    “I feel frustrated. I am on fighter flight mode. I will fight, flee or freeze.  I am stuck on fighting or freezing because I can’t flee.  The one thing that could help this, is relationships but we are missing out on relationships (because of the Stay Well at Home order).

    “We have a sense of collective trauma being experienced worldwide. We need an anchor at this time.  I deal with trauma that nobody wants to treat. These are complicated cases.  Some of my patients feel terrified that they are going to die. Because of feelings of helplessness, some want to die.

    “God has taken this time to strip down our idols. We can’t go out.  Brokenness in every one of us” is being revealed said Dr. Anderson who said she was “grateful” for an opportunity to participate in communion at Godspeak on Palm Sunday. “It was an opportunity to worship my Lord and Savior and thank Him for all He has done.”  

    On Right Dr Shannae Anderson

    (Editor’s Note:  Dr. Shannae Anderson works exclusively with adolescent and adult women. She treats trauma, eating disorders, addiction and substance abuse, personality disorders, depression and anxiety, love and relationship addiction, codependency, self-esteem, identity and relationship issues and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Interpersonal Neurobiology.  Her office is at 325 E Hillcrest Drive #207, Thousand Oaks and can be reached by phone at:  805-496-7144.)


    Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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