Despair is defined at the complete loss or absence of hope.  Dentistry is not immune to the stress and anxiety that high pressure careers generate every day.  Just because you feel fine today, doesn’t mean you will be fine tomorrow.  Think of the numerous obligations that you face every single day in a dental practice.  Whether they involve financial pressures, time pressures, patient expectations, or staff difficulties; the operation of an active dental practice basically defines what stress is all about.

Whether you use the term burnout, depression, stress related anxiety; they all lead to the same place.  Deceased productivity, sadness, and the feelings of emptiness are common among those entering this dark phase of their dental career.  We call this a phase because it is entirely reversible.  Own the other hand, it can be progressive.  In order to manage these symptoms of the disease , many will turn to substance abuse and other forms of escape.   A number will be trapped in addiction.

The current opioid crisis is a prime example of what happens when good intentions go bad.  These problems are diseases with distinct medical diagnoses.  You may have every intention of getting better, but without seeking help your recovery is in question.  Start first by recognizing your problem.   Know your enemy and take steps to return to happiness and joy.   We have previously discussed the well planned steps to overcome burnout and depression associated with dental practice.  THE SOLUTION TO DENTAL BURNOUT

Take some real-time to look over the well presented ideas regarding your survival.   Yes, we are referring to survival.  Failure to take definitive action may have catastrophic  results for both you and your family.  Addiction is an entirely new set of challenges, but frequently directly related to a failure to address the concerns discussed with depression and anxiety.   Look to our posting on addiction .ADDICTION AND DENTAL DISABILITY

The plan reviewed in this article has been meticulously reviewed and presents very well researched actions.  Please take a few minutes to think about what you can do now.   A few changes in your current life decisions, can allow you to totally alter the course of your downward spiral into addiction.   Addiction is different now.   The real risk of unintended death has never been higher.   The quality and quantity of the abused substances place the user at ever-increasing risk.   First of all, don’t start down this road. If you do, you must get help.   It is exactly like being caught in a riptide.  If you try to fight alone and swim directly against the current, you will die.   If you just stop swimming, the tide will take you out and then you can swim along the shore to safety. The only way to beat addiction is to stop.   Stop swimming, stop using, stop abusing yourself.   Is addiction different for dentists?   See our recent posting and find out.IS ADDICTION DIFFERENT FOR DENTISTS?

There is so much unnecessary suffering out there now.   Even if you are doing fine now; be prepared to not only help yourself, be prepared to help others.  The resources at the state and national level that are available to combat burnout/addiction/depression are increasing every day.   We hope that in the future that we will be able to look back with pride on how well the profession handled this crisis.   Of course, this may only be wishful thinking.    Sit back and really focus on where you are today and where are you going. Despair is a horrible condition and can be fought with HOPE.

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“We are dentists helping other sick and injured dentists, we care”

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