Identifying and dealing with depression

In the 2015 ADA Dentist Health and Wellness Survey, a total of 11 percent were diagnosed with depression, 6 percent were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and 4 percent were identified as suffering from panic attacks, according to the ADA Center for Professional Success.

Center for Professional SuccessOf those surveyed, 28 percent of dentists sought help for their mental health disorder, 44 percent believed that they could solve their own problems and did not seek professional help.

The best way to support a colleague suffering from depression is to encourage them to seek help. The ADA has prepared a resource guide that identifies signs and symptoms a person battling with depression may present.

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
  • Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical or moody.
  • Has lost interest in work, hobbies and other pleasurable activities.
  • Talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
  • Expresses a negative outlook on life.
  • Frequently complains of aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach problems and back pain.
  • Complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
  • Has withdrawn from friends, family and other social activities.
  • Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps.
  • Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
  • Has become indecisive, forgetful or disorganized.
  • Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription medications.

You will also find some tips to encourage a colleague to seek help.

The ADA’s Health and Wellness Program is here to help. Please contact Alison Bramhall at or 312.440.2622


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