We live in a society that worships the overachiever. Burning the candle at both ends and denying yourself pleasure until the work gets done is seen as honorable. And while having a good work ethic is definitely key to living your best life, it is also important to balance your work life with a sense of play and freedom. If you don’t, you could experience burnout.
The Dangers of Being Addicted to Work
You may think that a workaholic would be every boss and manager’s dream employee. After all, if you’re someone who’s addicted to work, you’re generally the first one to arrive, last to leave, refuse to take vacations and take on mountains of work.
But workaholics are often not seen as team players, don’t delegate, and can’t handle their workload efficiently. And, because these individuals refuse to take time off of work, they can become sick. Workaholics experience far more work-related stress, anger, anxiety and depression, which can result in physical symptoms like headaches, migraines, GI upset and insomnia.
Are You a Workaholic? – Wondering whether you are a workaholic? Here are 10 signs you may be addicted to working:
You work over 50 hours each week.
You feel the need to be constantly busy.
You have trouble relaxing and/or having fun when not working.
You are a perfectionist.
Writing to-do lists is fun for you.
Your loved ones complain about how much you work.
You’re often caught not listening or paying attention to conversations because you’re focused on work.
You’ve often been called a “control freak.”
You are neglecting other aspects of your life, like attending your child’s play or music recital.
You become highly stressed when you are forced to turn off your cellphone and other digital devices.
Workaholism is a Real Disease – Workaholism is an actual disease like alcoholism that tends to be passed down from parent to child. Work addicts use work as a means to cope with emotional discomfort and feelings of inadequacy. Because there is a real, intense need for work as a distraction, other areas of their life tend to suffer. And the cycle goes on and on.
Workaholics can benefit greatly from cognitive behavioral therapy where they can learn coping strategies that allow them to feel better and work less.
If you or someone you know is addicted to work and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d love to help you find some balance in your life.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW