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Depressed Dentists Suffer from Dysthymia

January 30th, 2009 · No Comments


A Canadian research team at Universite de Montreal Department of Dentistry found that a mood disorder known as dysthymia, or chronic depression, is affecting many dentists. WebMD states that dysthymia is a “less severe form of depression,” but it can last for years. The Journal of the American Dental Association ran an article in 2005 that claimed 10% of surveyed dentists experienced dysthymia, but of those, only 15% sought medical treatment. In the US, 10.9 million people have dysthymia. Symptoms include:

o Loss of Appetite
o Low Energy/Sluggishness/Fatigue
o Desperation
o Unusual Anger
o Social Withdrawal
o Overworking
o Lack of Concentration
o Guilt
o Sadness/Loss of Joy
o Suicidal Thoughts
o Difficulty Sleeping
o Aches, Pains, Stomach Issues that Don’t Subside with Treatment

People with dysthymia can function in normal society, yet they feel unhappy. Causes may stem from brain changes with serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter). Social, personal, and professional stressors may stimulate dysthymia, as well. If you experience any of the above symptoms and/or feel depressed for two weeks, you should seek medical advice from your doctor. Counseling and antidepressants are common effective treatment options. Your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, regular exercise, enjoying family and friends, and abstaining from tobacco and alcohol.

SOURCES: MedicalNews Today; WebMD


For further reading:


“Dysthymia Treatment Can Help Reduce Depression Symptoms”

By Gabrielle J. Mellin, MD,


“Stress, Burnout, Anxiety and Depression Among Dentists”

By Robert E. Rada, DDS, MBA and Charmaine Johnson-Leong, BDS, MBA, JADA 2004


“When Professional Burnout Syndrome Leads to Dyshtymia”

By Dr. Ron Fey, JCDA 2000


“Dysthymic Disorder”

By MediRsource Clinical Team at


Dysthemia Thread at  PsychLinks Online



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