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Are Newly Trained Dentists At High Risk for Anxiety and Depression?

Are Newly Trained Dentists At High Risk for Anxiety and Depression?

In the medical field, there are strict requirements that students must meet to obtain their status as a dentist. Licensure by the state, plus residency, is often required, which means that students in dental school must complete rigorous testing and preparation for their future career. This in-depth training can be very stressful for students, with mental health effects continuing on after graduation and entrance into the profession. A 2017 study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry confirmed that even seasoned dentists experience severe mental states related to depression, anxiety, and sleep, and newly appointed dentists entering into this profession may experience similar conditions.

Newly trained dentists have already experienced high pressure and stress associated with their day-to-day educational practices. Researchers from India sought to explore this phenomenon further by asking 121 recently graduated dentists their experience with burnout and stress; respondents indicated the following:

  • 39% reported emotional exhaustion
  • 48% reported frustrations
  • 35% reported feeling worn out by the end of the day
  • 47% reported feeling worn out by the end of the working day
  • 35% reported feeling exhausted at the thought of another day of work
  • 46% reported feeling that every working hour is tiring
  • 47% reported less energy and less time for family and friends

Burnout provides risk factors for anxiety and depression, making this population particularly vulnerable to mental health concerns either early or later on in their professional careers. Long hours and strict demands in the dentistry field can mean little time to pursue avenues for self-help, leading symptoms of mental illness to become exacerbated over time. Occupational stress can also lead to problems in one’s personal life, such as with home responsibilities, romantic relationships, and social circles, which can cause additional mental health issues.

The best way to combat burnout, anxiety, and depression for newly graduated (or even seasoned) dentist professionals is to develop healthy coping mechanisms early on. Appropriate treatment for professionals can provide the tools a person needs to successfully carry out their career while also applying direct coping tools to real-world concerns. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and holistic practices such as meditation have been shown to help decrease anxiety and depression, while assisting individuals in gearing their thought patterns towards healing and restoration. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need today – your personal and professional life will thank you for it.

For more information on our treatment programs and services for professionals, call us today: 855-422-4129.

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