Are You a Workaholic?

Katie LairdPsychotherapy

What is a Workaholic?
Workaholism has been called ‘the addiction of this century’. There is a difference between working hard and holding yourself to a standard of excellence, and being a workaholic. A workaholic is someone who works long hours compulsively, despite exhaustion, and cannot psychologically detach from work. It is estimated that about 10% of the population identifies as being a workaholic.

How do I know if I’m a workaholic?
Norwegian researchers from the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen identified seven identifying characteristics of workaholics:

  1. You think about how you can devote more time to work.
  2. You spend more time working than you had meant to.
  3. Working reduces feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and/or depression.
  4. People in your life tell you to cut back on work, and you ignore them.
  5. You become stressed if you are prevented from working.
  6. You do not make time for leisure, hobbies, and/or exercise.
  7. Working too much has had a negative impact on your health.

How does being a workaholic affect your life and health?

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Recurring health problems
  3. Increased stress and anxiety
  4. Negative impact on relationship with loved ones
  5. Frequent tension headaches or migraines
  6. Can lead to decreased productivity 
  7. Increased vulnerability to other addictions

Tips to cope with workaholism:

  1. Be strict with time limits for work.
  2. Make time for family and friends.
  3. Engage in hobbies and spend time doing other things you enjoy.
  4. Use your vacation time, and do not take your work with you.
  5. Explore the reasons that are compelling you to be a workaholic- anxiety, craving for approval, fear of rejection, etc.

If you need to talk to someone about how being a workaholic is affecting you, please don’t hesitate to contact our Provisional Psychologist Katie Laird by booking online here.