Wellness countdown to 2022 — 5. Under stress? Signs someone may need help | American Dental Association

Wellness countdown to 2022 — 5. Under stress? Signs someone may need help

Image of burnout

Editor’s note: Here’s to a healthier 2022!

Let’s face it…it hasn’t been an easy year, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact day-to-day lives.

In August 2020, an ADA Health Policy Institute survey on the impact of COVID-19 on dentists under the age of 35 found that 87% reported experiencing anxiety and 55% reported experiencing depression. In the same survey, 55% were not familiar with mental health and other supportive services; and over 30% were not comfortable seeking out mental health services for themselves or team members. Early indications from the 2021 health survey show continued mental health concerns for dentists, including anxiety and depression.

Let’s count down the last busy days of 2021 by highlighting wellness resources and tips the ADA has to offer — from toolkits on workplace wellness and videos on ergonomics to webinars and fact sheets on mental health.


5. Under stress? Signs someone may need help
    
Whether you are an established dentist, dental student or new dentist, wellness survey data shows that you continually push yourself physically and mentally, with 75% of dentists dealing with moderate to severe stress while at work.
   
As a result, students and dental professionals may experience burnout, substance use disorders and other conditions that may impair their abilities to practice competent dentistry.
   
Here are signs that someone may need help:
   
If you answer “yes” to any one of the situations below, you may want to reach out for help:
• Are you experiencing problems coping with patients or with the typical stress of a busy practice?
• Do you become easily depressed or annoyed?
• Do you drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol?
• Do you self-prescribe or misuse mood-altering drugs?
• Are you slowing down, overly tired, or constantly placing work ahead of personal needs, family or recreation?

If you believe that you or a peer needs the help of the ADA or a state dentist wellbeing programs, email dentalpractice@ada.org.