Working Addiction: What is it?

You may have called yourself a workaholic jokingly referring
to working long hours never taking vacations, and always being connected on one
device or another to work. But did you know that work addiction, often referred
to as workaholism is an actual mental health disorder?

What is Work Addiction?

Just the same as any other addiction, the defining
characteristic for work addiction is the inability to stop the actions, in this
case the action is working. Common reasons that individuals become workaholics
are to avoid emotional stress and/or due to a compulsive need to attain a
higher status or become more successful. Just like with other addictions, the
affected individual achieves a “high” from working and or the success from
working and they can’t stop the behaviors even if they are facing increasingly
negative consequences in their family or personal lives.

How Can I Recognize an Addiction to Work?

People who suffer from a work addiction may try to explain
away their behaviors because working long hours is often cause for praise. They
may try to convince themselves or others that working this way is better for
their success in the long run. Often times, the affected individual may be
compulsively working in order to refrain from dealing with personal problems,
family crisis, or emotional stress. A noticeable symptom may be that the
individual doesn’t notice how their working is negatively impacting their
personal lives, relationships, etc. Furthermore, if the individual does
recognize negative consequences but feels powerless to stop compulsively working,
they may have a work addiction

Common Symptoms:

Losing sleep over work matters, sleep disturbances

Working more/longer when not necessary

Obsessing over success at work

Paranoid behaviors related to work

Anxiety or fear of failing

Putting work ahead of person relationships

Working instead of dealing with personal problems, or to
cover up feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, etc.

Getting defensive about work when others bring it up

What Can I do if I Have a Work Addiction?

It is best to seek assistance in helping you to overcome
your work addiction. There are many groups out there to assist you and make it
easy to have a balance between work and everyday life.


Tyler, M. "When Work Becomes an Addiction". Healthline.(Website).(June 2016).

Sign In or Register to comment.