The Workaholic: When Works Becomes An Addiction Too

Addiction to Work | Lakehouse Recovery Center

When Working Hard Becomes an Addiction

Being productive is highly valued in our society. If you’re not productive you’re seen as lazy, boring, useless, etc. If you’re not working, some people may wonder what’s wrong. However, the other side to this is when work becomes too much of a focus in a person’s life.

For some people, they work hard and play hard. But for others, there is little play and all work. Many experts would argue that there is a big difference between working hard and an addiction to work. This article will take a look at the signs which point to being a workaholic.

Work is highly rewarded in our society making it easy to get hooked on it. When you work, you have money to afford things and that alone can be attractive. Also, work can give a person a sense of purpose, meaning, and direction.

Work can also keep someone busy which can give the mind something to do instead of having thoughts that might lead to anxiety, depression, or substance use. Many people dive into their work when they don’t want to face what’s going on around them.

Signs That Point Work Addiction

  • Spending long hours at work or working
  • Trouble separating work from other areas of life
  • Inability to stop working even when on vacation or on days off
  • Work is interfering with other areas of life, such as parenting or a marriage
  • Work is interfering with one’s hygiene
  • Neglect of one’s physical health to pursue work activities
  • Using work as a means to escape life’s problems
  • Ignoring other important aspects of life
  • Feeling the need to do anything for one’s job
  • Working harder and longer than other co-workers
  • People you love complain that you work too much
  • Relationships are suffering or absent because of too much time spent at work
  • Without work, you might feel disappointed, meaningless, lost, or confused

If You Are Concerned, You Should Consider These Suggestions

  • Look for areas in your work responsibility that you can let go of. Perhaps in your desire to work you’ve taken on more than you need to.
  • Explore another area of life that might be able to bring you meaning and purpose.
  • See a therapist or counselor to discuss underlying issues that be keeping you working too much
  • Exercise more. Physical activity is an excellent way of staying emotionally, psychologically, and physically healthy. It can help reduce any stress you’re feeling that might otherwise drive you to work more.
  • Notice what you’re attempting to escape. Many people dive into their work to avoid something – a death in the family, a loveless marriage, or low self esteem. Rather than avoiding it, talk to someone you trust about what’s bothering you. Doing so can immediately help relieve you of the tension or discomfort you feel.

These are suggestions for easing an addiction to work. However, there’s no replacement for professional help. If you feel you need that, contact a mental health provider today!