People addicted to work are less productive, suffer from work stress and suffer from low satisfaction with their jobs and personal lives. How to avoid it?
Working for many hours and having a great salary is considered by many as the mark of success these days. The obsessive need to work has a high price paid for health, personal relationships and even quality of work.
This kind of dedication to work is leading more people to therapies and group sessions in search of help. It has been determined that it can be deadly, as a recent study by the Japanese government warns. that a fifth of the labor force in that country is at risk of dying from work overload. According to the BBC channel
A problem little studied
Last June the International Conference of Anonymous Addicts To Work was held in the United Kingdom. And although the event was attended by people from all over the world, until now there has not been much research done about it. In fact, Addicted To Work is not recognized as a medical condition in the Manual of Diagnosis and Statistics of Mental Disorders of the Association of American Psychiatrists, which is considered the most complete in this field. However, even when there is no definition, researchers are taking note of its impact on health, workplace conditions and mental problems.
A recent analysis by the University of Georgia on existing quantitative reports on this subject found that people addicted to work are less productive than their colleagues with healthier attitudes towards their jobs. Another large-scale study developed by the University of Bergen in Norway established a link between the tendency to work addiction and other psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
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You recognize it?
At what point does the love of work become negative?
Work holism is a compulsion; an uncontrollable desire to work or to think about work explains psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, based in North Carolina, and who has made several studies about it. According to the specialist, “this addiction is not defined by the number of hours worked, but by what happens inside us.”
“A workaholic is that person who, while skiing, dreams of returning to work, while a healthy worker is in the office dreaming of skiing.”
Despite the time they spend in the office, workaholics are not necessarily the ones who perform the tasks best or those who best relate to their colleagues.
This is demonstrated by the analyzes carried out by the University of Georgia, led by the professor of industrial and organizational psychology, Malissa A. Clark. Addicts suffer high rates of work stress, low job satisfaction, even lower satisfaction with their personal lives and extreme exhaustion. They also reflect great conflicts between their work and personal lives, and a poor physical and mental condition, all of which is reflected in problems for their family and marital environment.
Are you addicted to Work?
Do not know if you are a workaholic or not? The following are some of the tools that can help you make a self-assessment.
Norwegian researchers created the Bergen Addicted To Work Scale, which allows you to measure your behavior, feelings, and attitude toward your job. The Association of Addicts Anonymous to Work also has a questionnaire on the Internet, which helps determine if you need help, and as with all addictions, the first step to combat it is to admit that you have a problem.
For Robinson, who describes himself as a recovered addict, treatment includes awareness of the problem, therapy, changes in behavior and exposure of hidden problems. “Everything has a root, sometimes its self-esteem problems, others show ways to process anxiety,” he says.
For example, in the case of Bob, 61 years old and living in California, admitting that he had a problem was the product of an argument with his wife, in which she told him that she was tired of waking up in the middle of the night and discover that he was still in the office. Bob, who chose not to use his real name, is now a volunteer at the Association of Addicts Anonymous, where he acts as a relationship partner.
“The drug of these addicts is adrenaline, stress, pressure, crisis, deadlines, all that generates adrenaline and the ability to operate at a frenetic pace,” explains Bob. A successful businessman, but his professional rhythm began to affect his health. Despite this, I do not seek help, until it began to affect their family life. “My wife was no longer willing to continue living like this, and that gave me the strength to finally seek this treatment with conviction and commitment,” recalls Bob.
It is not easy to leave it
Work, like food, not easy to leave. So, how to control the impulse of this addiction?
“It’s about having a plan, and holding on to it, versus compulsively getting into any task that comes up,” says Bob.
That means, planning how many hours you will dedicate to the office, focusing on one thing at a time, and if something unexpected appears, do not try to address it, but go back to your list of priorities and reconsider it. Other treatment options include finding a therapist who specializes in this problem or attending forums and seminars. In this sense, perhaps the first obstacle to finding treatment is the lack of research. The study of Norwegian is one of the first.