Do you extend your work beyond the office hours? Are you constantly thinking of work-related stuff even on your off days? Has work become an escape from feelings of anxiety, helplessness, or depression? If these things sound familiar to you…you might be a workaholic.
Work addiction is a very real thing. Being a workaholic should not be misconstrued with being hardworking. Work addiction is the uncontrolled need to attain recognition and status. There is a compulsion to be buried in constant work. For some, working gruelling hours and investing maximal effort provides a release from emotional stress. For workaholics, being exposed to the challenges of work and constantly pushing the limits are what drive them to exhibit behavioural patterns consistent with addiction. That is why workaholics are often described as perfectionists.
There are multiple parallels between work addiction and substance dependence. This is not to say that when you are addicted to work, you automatically have the same neurosis as those addicted to drugs. But, in the same vein as someone who abuses drugs, a workaholic also experiences a “high” from engaging in work. The rush that they feel causes them to repeat the behaviour despite its detrimental effects on their physical and mental health, which could also extend to damaging their social life.
In today’s work culture where we perpetuate the practice of working long hours and putting in extra days, it has become a sort of norm for work to take up a huge chunk of a person’s life. This shift in the work culture makes it even more challenging to recognize work addiction.
For a workaholic, there is a drive to compulsively work to avoid the negative aspects of their life, like emotional distress or personal conflicts. The workaholic often refuses to admit that they have a serious problem because they could not recognise the signs of the addiction.
Be aware of the symptoms of work addiction:
These are the manifestations of a workaholic. And like in any addiction, arresting it in its early stage would have a better outcome in dealing with its consequences.
Why Work Addiction Can Be A Problem
Ironically, most companies and businesses reward excessive work. This makes the addiction more challenging to address. But like in any type of addiction, workaholism is propelled by compulsion rather than self-satisfaction that is commonly felt by people who are passionate about their jobs.
In truth, people who become victims of work can be quite depressed and anxious about work. Workaholics spend so much time at work that personal relationships are impaired and healthy social interactions are compromised.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a work addiction, The Arden Centre can help. Providing professional yet compassionate support is important to us. There is a full range of treatment and therapies designed to overcome the most challenging addictions. The Arden Centre not only provides support to individuals who are suffering from addiction but also offers counselling to their support systems as well.
I am an energetic and committed Senior Health Care Manager with a passion for developing staff through education and mentoring.