It is good to like the work that you do. Most people work for the majority of their lives, but work addiction, or workaholism, can be damaging to a person’s wellbeing. It commonly comes from the compulsive desire to be successful or as a form of escape from emotional stress.
What is Workaholism?
Someone who suffers from work addiction may be unable to stop the rewarding behavior of work even if it is impacting their livelihood. They may justify their behavior by glorifying their success or approval for hard work.
Work addiction is different than work ambition. Many people are ambitious in a healthy way. Workaholics may use work as a form of escape from the other aspects of their lives. They may work to avoid personal crises, emotional issues, or distressing situations.
Someone suffering from work addiction may put in extra work hours even when those hours are not necessary. They may lose sleep in order to finish their work and become obsessed with their success in their career.
Work addiction is often accompanied by a strong fear of failure in their career as well. They may have anxiety or paranoia about their performance at work. All of these things may harm their personal life and their relationships.
Sometimes, people who suffer from work addiction complete extra work as a way to cope with negative feelings like guilt, shame, or depression. They may also work to avoid things like financial trouble, legal issues, or relationship problems.
The Bergen Work Addiction Scale is a system that is used to identify work addiction. This scale measures different factors about work and the way that these factors impact a person’s life. The results can be used to determine if someone is suffering from work addiction and provides insight into the severity of the addiction.
It works by using the numbers 1 through 5 that are associated with the amount that the person relates to different factors. 1 is equivalent to never participating in the behavior that the factor explains while 5 is always participating in that behavior.
Factors include things like working in order to reduce negative feelings or thinking relating to work. They also include the importance of personal interests, health, and the amount of time spent working.
Workaholism and Mental Illness
Workaholics are more likely to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. It is sometimes necessary to treat this underlying condition to properly address the workaholism.
Therapy can effectively treat mental health conditions. You can find a therapist to help you improve your wellbeing and recover from your workaholism at BetterHelp. A therapist can help you address negative thinking patterns, manage your emotions, and alter your perception of work.
Balancing Work and Personal Life
Work is important, but it is also crucial that you have a good balance between your work and your personal life. Everybody’s balance is different, and some can do well with a heavier workload. It is important that you find the amount of work that is comfortable for you that provides what you want out of your career without impacting your wellbeing and relationships.
It is important to talk to and listen to your friends and family. They can provide an objective perspective into your work habits and offer guidance and advice. You can also talk to them about your career goals and what you want to be doing with your work.
Balancing work and personal life may mean that you will have to change careers or take a pay cut. This can improve your happiness and wellbeing even if it seems like it is counterproductive. Work may be important, but it is not as important as your happiness.
If you work a salary job, it is important to understand that you are not a slave to your employer. You are paid to do a job, but you should not contribute hours that you do not feel that you are rightfully paid for. You also need to take the time for vacations, interests, and hobbies.
It is important to use sick time when you are ill. This may mean that you take a mental health day every now and then as well. It is good to take an occasional step back from work in order to destress.
Final Thoughts on Workaholism
Work consumes a lot of people’s lives. This can be damaging to your mental and physical health. It is important to address work addiction so that you can begin to improve your livelihood. However, addressing work addiction sometimes means that you have to treat an underlying mental health issue. This may require therapy that can help you identify your negative thought patterns and replace your unhealthy behaviors with healthier ones.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.