About Mental Health in Dentistry (A COVID-19 Conference Favorite) with Dr. Joshua Austin Episode
Mental Health in Dentistry (A COVID-19 Conference Favorite)
Episode #405 with Dr. Joshua Austin
Maybe not everyone needs a therapist — but every dentist needs a therapist. And to highlight the reasons why, Kirk Behrendt brings in Dr. Joshua Austin to this COVID-19 Conference to talk about his personal mental health journey, the stigma around mental health in dentistry, and some sobering statistics you need to know about dentists. It’s okay to not be okay, and it’s time to be okay talking about it. To learn ways to protect your mental health, listen to Episode 405 of The Best Practices Show!
**If you or someone you know — in or out of the dental community — is struggling with depression or is in distress, please reach out today. Resources are linked below.**
Dentists are at high risk for mental health crises.
Every dentist should have a therapist.
If not a therapist, have someone you can talk to.
Find different ways to bring down your anxiety.
It is okay to not be okay, and to talk about it.
“I saw [Contagion in 2011], and I was in such a dark place in my life that I thought to myself multiple times watching that movie, ‘Wow, this would be great because this would mean I don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore, and I wouldn’t have to get up to go to work the next day, and I wouldn’t have to get up to fake feelings in a relationship that isn’t positive for me, and it would be a great answer to the problems of my life.’ And looking back on that now, that is so incredibly tone-deaf that it’s embarrassing to say. But what I think it highlights is that we can end up, as dentists, in dark places mentally and emotionally and it can make us think some thoughts that we’re not comfortable talking about because we are a surgical group.” (3:35—4:24)
“I’m not saying everyone needs a therapist — just every dentist needs a therapist.” (9:29—9:34)
“There’s no reason why you couldn’t do a video conference with a therapist and spend 30, 45 minutes, an hour — it costs you $150, probably — and be working on ourselves in a way that we should that we generally don’t.” (14:21—14:38)
“I became a dentist because of my dad. My dad practiced dentistry for 25 years in Amarillo, Texas, and he taught at the dental school here in San Antonio. And all my life, I wanted to make my dad happy. And honestly, that’s what drove me into dentistry. I wanted to make my dad happy, and I wanted to hear my dad say that he was proud of me. There’s a problem with that. My dad died when I was 10 years old. So, no matter what I do in dentistry, I’m never going to hear that he was proud of me. That moment is never going to come. And what led me to realizing I needed a therapist started from that.” (23:26—24:09)
“I come into the office one morning, and there’s an email at our desk. It was from a guy named Chris, and it said he was seeking dental care elsewhere. And under “comments” it said, ‘Dr. Austin just seems so angry all the time.’ Which is one of those things that — I thought I was really good at hiding all of that and keeping that in check.” (25:35—25:58)
“I think there are a lot of people out there who are like me that, yes, we all wanted to help people. But the reason they became a dentist was maybe a reason that they can never fully solve, or they can never fully get the validation that they need. And so, it becomes a 2,500 square-foot coffin every day. And I want people to know that the way out of that is not trying to find some MLM solution to sell CBD products or nutritional shakes. It’s not any of that. It’s coming to terms with what’s in your brain and what’s in your mind and seeking therapy to try to become a human being that copes better with the day-to-day stresses that we all have.” (27:42—28:35)
“You’ve got to have a good life at home, and you’ve got to have a good partner. And sometimes, a good partner is no partner. There are times in our lives that we need that too. And so, that’s something that we…
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Released onApr 11, 2022
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