What Exactly Is A Workaholic?

What exactly is a workaholic?

Certain working conditions can increase anxiety and stress levels. It is striking that although a workaholic also suffers from this, he only gets annoyed when he is not working.

A workaholic is essentially someone who is addicted to their job. He focuses his life on his work and does not place much value on other things such as family, social or personal matters. This obsessive attitude to his work puts his health at risk.

According to Marisa Bosqued, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in work-related matters, the workaholic’s situation causes him to gradually lose emotional stability. He may even reach a point where he becomes addicted to control or power.

Are you a workaholic?

The usual symptoms of a workaholic can be divided into three categories, depending on the area they affect. Nevertheless, it is important to note that this ailment is not yet classified as a medical condition.

  • Cognitive : Anxiety, irritability, depression, constant worry.
  • Physiological : insomnia, stress, increased blood pressure.
  • Behaviour : the need to be in control, extreme planning, separation from the social environment.

However, the behavioral aspects that workaholics may exhibit can vary. For example, they tend not to use their vacation days. In some extreme cases, they may never use those days. Another sign is that they are the first to come to the office in the morning and the last to leave in the evening.

Woman working late at night

These people do not enjoy their free time because they cannot let go of their work even when they are free. In addition, they tend to talk about only one specific topic: their work. It is therefore common for these people to take their work home with them in order to complete more tasks.

The center of their lives

For these people, their work gradually becomes the center of their lives. In fact, it spreads in their lives and replaces everything else. Workaholics often have few relationships. Often they throw themselves even more into their work in order to escape their personal problems.

According to Wayne Oates, a psychologist, physician and educator, a workaholic’s relationship with his job is similar to that of an alcoholic with alcohol. These people feel an insatiable need to keep working. So much so that it eventually affects their health and well-being and destroys most of their social relationships.

According to Bosqued, this addiction stems from unreasonable professional ambition. Workaholics work so hard because they think it’s the only way to achieve their goals. In fact, they try to excel because they have learned that the more effort they put in, the more powerful they will be.

The good side

The positive side of the workaholic’s lifestyle is that it obviously has major consequences for his career. These people often become the standard by which their colleagues measure themselves, as well as by which the boss measures his employees.

Like no other, workaholics spend time on projects, get involved in company affairs and are motivated to work. Ultimately, these sacrifices are rewarded with promotions, power, and money.

However, these rewards reinforce the behavior. This only makes it more difficult for the workaholic to stop his addiction. He thinks that his behavior rewards him with higher power, strength and ambition.

Man gets promotion at work

A connotation that is not so negative

The difficulty of categorizing this behavior as a disorder is because a lot of work is often not seen as something negative.

When a person regularly uses drugs or resorts to alcohol to escape his problems, his social environment does not approve of his behavior. However, this is not the case when the person is addicted to his work. Nobody looks down on that.

However, it is still disruptive behavior. It doesn’t work because it doesn’t take into account the other foundations of life: family, leisure and social relationships. This limitation to living a ‘normal’ life makes the behavior problematic.

Imagine that your best friend starts dedicating his whole life to his family because one of the members is dependent on him. Little by little, he spends more and more time with his relative and begins to give up his work, education and friends.

Eventually, he will likely develop a caregiver syndrome. The case of the workaholic runs parallel, under the guise of responsibility and dedication to doing his job to the extreme.

Therefore, devoting ourselves completely to our work can generate serious emotional imbalances. The best thing you can do is try to strike a balance so that your happiness doesn’t depend on anything and it becomes a more lasting state of mind.

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