Usually, when people talk about addictions their focus is on things that are in and it of themselves destructive. For example, people will talk about a gambling addiction. They may speak about an addiction to cigarettes. Often times addiction is associated with drugs and alcohol. It is very easy to understand why an addiction to these things can be destructive. At times though it is not as easy to see the connection between addiction and work. However, there are many individuals who literally find themselves addicted to working. These individuals are workaholics.
Workaholics vs Hard Workers
It must be understood that there is a difference between an individual who works hard, and a workaholic. The vast majority of individuals who have a high-powered job may have had to work a few extra hours throughout their life. They might be devoted to their job, and hard workers. This though, does not mean that they are workaholics. A workaholic is addicted to work.Individuals who are addicted to work get the same thrill, and the same high, off of working that other individuals get from drug use or gambling. Often times individuals who find themselves addicted to work seek out high pressure jobs. They look for employment that requires them to be constantly working.An individual who is a hard worker looks forward to going on vacation. While they are working hard, their mind is often on that nice beach vacation they are going to take in a few weeks. For an individual who is addicted to work, things are reverse. When they are sitting on that nice beach, when they are skiing down those beautiful slopes, or when they are in a relaxing villa, their mind is on work. Individuals who are addicted to work see work as a way of escaping reality.
Being a workaholic affects the whole family of the addict
Quite often family members of workaholics comment that even when their family member is physically present, mentally and emotionally they are working. Outside of work individuals who are addicted to work find themselves distracted and disconnected. Their addiction to work often inhibits them from developing close relationships with others.When at home, an individual who is addicted to work might find themselves constantly checking the blackberry, computer,or iPhone looking for new messages about work. When a crisis at work arises, this produces a sort of adrenaline in them. It makes them feel happy to always be at work. Spouses of individuals who are addicted to work often complained that they feel as if they are single parents. This is because their spouse is constantly working, or is constantly thinking about work.
Workaholics are more likely to suffer health problems
Being addicted to work can take its toll on a person’s health. In the same way that addiction to alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can negatively affect a person, so to excessive working will eventually damage a person’s health. Individuals who are addicted to work have a constant high level of stress. In the same way that the motor of a vehicle that is driving at full speed constantly will eventually burn out, so too will the bodies of individuals who are addicted to work.Thankfully, individuals who find themselves in this situation can change. There are programs out there that are designed to help those who are addicted to work find a balance in their life. This balance will allow them to once again enjoy meaningful relationships with friends and family and leave being a workaholic behind.
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