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Work addiction is a type of addiction that may not be taken as seriously as it should. It's not the same thing as someone working hard or trying to keep their job. It's an obsessive-compulsive behavior that can lead to some serious consequences.
Unlike a person who wants to be a good employee or is a driven entrepreneur, work addicts don't have a sense of balance in their lives. Even when they are away from work, they can't stop thinking about work or doing some activity associated with work. Even if they are told that they are damaging their health or that their personal relationships are suffering, they keep up the same demanding work schedule.
Here are some signs that may indicate a work addiction:
There may be a physical component to addiction to work. People with this type of addiction may be drawn to careers that are demanding or stressful. They find that they enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with responding to situations at work. To recreate the "rush" repeatedly, they spend an excessive amount of time at work so that they can be where the action is.
Another reason why someone may develop an addiction to work is low self-esteem. The work addict may come from a family where nothing they did was ever quite good enough, so they put forth an extraordinary effort at work to show that they are worthy. Unfortunately, they are so focused on trying to achieve perfection that they may not be able to complete their work or projects, because nothing is ever quite right. Other work addicts grew up in a household where a parent was an addict, and they are constantly trying to control their environment, since they were unable to do so as children.
Being a work addict has negative consequences for the individual, which may include:
With help, a work addict can learn to have a more balanced life. Seeing a therapist with experience treating workaholics is one way to change behaviors. Since this is an obsessive-compulsive disorder, medications may be prescribed to help treat this addiction. Making an appointment with your primary care physician is a good idea, since workaholism can lead to health issues. Deciding you want to stop and get treatment for work addiction is the first step.
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