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Workaholics. Workaholism. Symptoms, treatment and reasons of work addiction

Workaholics. Workaholism.

A totally devoted to his work individual is usually very respected by people around; he looks like a very busy and successful person. But there is a border between loving job and being addicted to it. The last one leads to workaholism - the entire absorption by working activity, which excludes other interests.

The majority of psychologists and scientists think that work addiction can't be a positive phenomenon, on the contrary: workaholism comes to serious problems with one's health and psychics, spoils workaholic's relations with close people and appears to be quite dangerous disorder in general. Many workaholics suffer from cardiovascular disease, as they don't have much time for rest being overloaded by their duties at the work place. It sounds threatening, but people die from this addiction: every year tens of thousands of such deaths get registered all over the world.

Symptoms of workaholism

Working for a workaholic is a sense of all his life and the main value. Unlike a work loving person, the workaholic enjoys the process of working much better, rather than its result. He doesn't care too much of the result and can work to the point of exhaustion, even when there is no financial need in it. He explains his work addiction as a great interest in working and intention to achieve his potential and build a career. The main symptoms of workaholism are the following:

  • Avoiding any rest, irritation and dissatisfaction in case of no work;
  • Difficulties, when the addict has to turn from the job into the rest;
  • Offence on close ones, if they are not very interested in workaholic's professional achievements;
  • Nervousness, if someone tries to draw him away from thinking of his job and interest the workaholic in something else;
  • Having a lot of professional duties at work, when one task follows another one and so on;
  • The work addict is full of energy, self-sufficient and sure of himself only at work. He enjoys his job and job only, apart from working he is sad, sensitive, feels apathy etc.;
  • Inflated requirements to own self and other people in professional activities;
  • Keen perception of failures at work, intolerance to criticism;
  • Impossibility to enjoy recreation or any activity, not connected with the job.

Work addiction has the symptoms, equal to other dependences – escape from reality, rigid thinking, fast involvement in working and intolerance to criticism. Therefore in some countries workaholism is officially recognized as disorder, which needs medical treatment.

Reasons of work addiction

Not many people have risks of becoming workaholics. The most premises for forming work addiction originate from the childhood. A child from the family, where one of the parents is an antisocial personality (for instance, if the father is an alcoholic), tries to impose the considerable part of duties on himself and carry out them perfectly. To that such a child often tends to become the very reverse of his disorderly father that may lead to perfectionism and workaholism.

Quite often the people, who were only children in the family (when the parents rested all their hopes in their child and demand of him a lot), suffer from this addiction. At the adult age the former children follow the pattern received in childhood – they believe that constant hard working and success are things the people love and respect them for.

However, the significant part of workaholics (especially the women) – are people with disorderly personal life. Emotional experience and losses in personal life make them work hard, and in the process of such working the workaholics forget of their failures.

Types of workaholics

There are three types of workaholics having their personal peculiarities and motives:

  1. «For own self». Such people work because they want to earn a lot of money and improve the standard of living. Later they get used to working, and it becomes the end in itself, the activity, favoring them, and they don’t care of other people’ opinions;
  2. «For others». These workaholics want to prove, they are more competent and efficient, than the others, and this turns into obsessive desire;
  3. «Losers». They don’t have any particular goals or intentions concerning their professional life. They work just to spend the time and fill the emptiness in their souls and lives.

Work addiction treatment

A visit to a psychotherapeutist is the important but not the fundamental condition of workaholism treatment. Of course, the regular sessions with the specialist will help the addict to sort himself out and reveal the true reasons of his unhealthy addiction to work. But the main helper in workaholism treatment is a workaholic himself, who will have to realize abnormality of his way of life and thinking.

Relatives and close people can be of much help in this situation. The effective remedy against workaholism is new and unusual surroundings. For example, the workaholic’s wife can ask him to run a household and care of the children; she can interest him in some new hobbies and create convenient conditions for that. A workaholic woman should spend more time with her friends, go shopping and find time to care of herself. Of course it can be difficult at the very beginning, but little by little the workaholic will get used to new life style, and get rid of obsessive thoughts about working.

The lonely workaholics may find it far more difficult. They ought to carefully organize their day time so, that there is time for work, time for rest and time for home duties, and strictly observe the new rules. Yoga and meditation can be of much help here – they will teach the workaholic to relax.

The treatment for workaholism is good to improve the health condition, communication with the family and friends and start to enjoy the things, having nothing in common with professional activities.

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