Ways to Tell | Are You Addicted to Your Job
When people refer to “workaholics,” it’s usually a joke but seriously, ask yourself … Are You addicted to your job? Addiction to work is not a diagnosis found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), so it’s not addressed by most medical and therapeutic centers. But for many, it’s a serious issue that negatively impacts their lives and often co-occurs with other issues – like substance abuse and a host of mental health disorders.
There’s a 12-step program for just about anything that could possibly be construed as compulsive or addictive behavior, and addiction to work is one such behavior. The Workaholics Anonymous group defines the following behaviors as being indicative of an addiction to work that should be addressed:
- You may not be able to relax. Even when you’re not at work, you’re still working or thinking about work.
- You may complete tasks that you don’t want to do for work but feel that you must in order to maintain employment.
- You may have a hard time defining yourself outside of work.
- You may not know what else to do with your time if you are not working.
- You may prioritize work above personal relationships and things going on at home.
- You may not feel that others are capable of doing what you do at work.
- You may judge yourself based on your performance at work.
A Different Kind of Addiction
Many people view those who are “workaholics” as highly motivated and successful people. But while many may be paying the bills, it comes at a price. They often sacrifice their mental health, their family life, and their personal sense of self in order to bring in the big money. It can be difficult to recognize that you need help when so many view your habits as successful – even if you are unhappy. Unfortunately, work addictions come with a host of negative risks including:
- Increased risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, immune system disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and diabetes
- Increased risk for substance abuse (either substance used to increase productivity or substances ingested for work-related functions)
- Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders
Find Help Today
Even though the DSM doesn’t identify work as a risky addictive behavior and there are few treatment programs for workaholics, there are rehabilitation centers for addiction and mental health treatment centers that offer resources to patients who struggle with managing their time to prioritize their health in an effort to help you determine if you are addicted to working your job.