Workaholism is a phenomenon that means the desire of a person to work too much, going beyond the boundaries of adequate diligence. Workaholism demonstrates the addictive moment of this phenomenon, more simply destructive dependence on work. Previously, the society perceived excessive diligence as a positive aspect, but numerous studies have shown that the term described is a variation of psychological dependence. Today, it is considered to be an independent form of deviation of behavior and desire, since such a relationship is irrational, uncontrollable and characterized by obsession.
Workaholism as a form of addictive behavior
An important role in the existence of individuals is the desire to work, but sometimes this desire completely enslaves a person, turning him into a “slave” of work. When the need to work becomes the sole goal of the individual, then workaholism turns into a kind of psychological dependence akin to drug addiction.
Previously, an increased craving for work was welcomed and was considered a kind of standard by which every average worker should strive for, today psychologists assert that workaholism is a disease, and work is a kind of drug for a workaholic.
At the same time, workaholism causes no less damage to the individual than chemical dependencies. Workaholics can be considered maniacs of labor. When such persons are deprived of the opportunity to work, they have pronounced symptoms of deprivation: emotional instability with the prevalence of dysphoria (like narcotic "breaking").
In the absence of work, workaholics do not find a place for themselves, they are made evil and sullen. On vacation, such people instead of joy, they feel anguish, which often leads to depressive states. Scientists have found that the departments of the brain of a workaholic responsible for craving for alcohol-containing or narcotic substances with the deprivation of his work are activated. A "labor enthusiasm" is like an alcoholic binge.
Hardworkers with the help of work escape from reality. However, they also, like alcoholics, stubbornly do not recognize the existence of harmful addiction. The drunkard considers himself an ordinary drinker, and the workaholic imagines himself to be an ordinary hard-working person.
Workaholism is very different from hard work. Hardworking people work to live, and workaholics live for work. Hence, workaholism as a variation of addictive behavior should be spoken when professional activity is made “state of mind”, meaning of life, the only source of satisfaction. A hard-working person sets goals in front of him, for him the result of an activity is important, and not the professional activity itself. For hardworking people, work is only part of being, a way of self-expression, a means of providing and material benefits.
Workaholics, on the contrary, tend to build a job to the rank of an end in itself. They make their own profession the meaning of being. At the same time, the result of their activity is indifferent. Anything outside the circle of his official duties and interests, including relatives, the dependent individual perceives as a hindrance that distracts from the activity, as a result of which causes irritation and discontent. The sense of duty that is present in industrious individuals is transformed among workaholics into tyranny of duty.
Dependence on labor in individuals is “disfigured” by their perception of the surrounding reality and relationships with close people. They recognize only their own interests, become more callous and selfish. Under the guise of workaholism hides a lot of psychological problems, complexes, fears.
The strong half falls into the trap of workaholism more often the weak half. Social foundations and stereotypes prescribe them to be earners, but dependent workers perceive this appeal as a self-justification for their own professional traction.
The following causes of workaholism can be identified.:
- the habit of escape from problems and conflicts in any activity developed in the childhood period;
- the parental family as an imitation model, in which they worked a lot and not easily, but earned little, while having a lot of regalia: letters, badges, medals;
- the desire to win parental approval, as a result of which the child shoulders the fulfillment of "adult" household duties on his own shoulders;
- the desire to feel their own significance, importance, need through the work produced;
- poor communication skills;
- The resulting euphoria from the activity noted by the leadership leads to a fixation in the person of a dependent reaction to again feel similar feelings.
Also, the lack of personal life, friends, hobbies can provoke a person to immerse themselves in work, to achieve success in the professional sphere, since personal life did not work out. Over time, such immersion in work can develop into a relationship.
Signs of workaholism
Professional career for the subject to the work of the individual is the meaning of life and its main value.
The main signs of workaholism are represented by the following manifestations:
- avoidance of rest, irritability, dissatisfaction outside the work activity;
- the imposition of large official duties on their own shoulders;
- energy, self-sufficiency, a manifestation of confidence only in work;
- obtaining satisfaction only from professional activity, and outside the work process an individual becomes gloomy, apathetic, vulnerable;
- the presentation of too high requirements for colleagues and his own person in the professional field;
- painful perception of failures in the field of labor, intolerance of criticism;
- inability to receive joy, positive emotions from activities not related to work;
- work at an inappropriate hour, performance of office tasks at home on the weekend;
- difficulties with switching from professional activities to other occupations;
- constant thoughts about work, experiences;
- constant talk about work;
- emotional dryness, detachment;
- the desire to convince others that it works solely for the sake of providing for the family or comes up with another justification for their own uncontrollable professional work.
The considered addiction is characterized by manifestations of similar other psychological dependencies, such as: flight from reality, intransigence with criticism, rigid thinking, the rapid development of involvement.
Workaholics can be considered perfectionists. They strive to achieve only their driven ideal in the professional field. Perfectionism and workaholism are labor addictions, that is, an uncontrollable need for activity.
Consequences of workaholism
The analyzed addiction is a characteristic feature of psychological distress, because a person tries to hide behind work due to the loss of the ability to fully interact with the environment, the desire to escape from unsolved, often psychological, problems.
The basis of this deviation is a sense of inferiority and the desire to compensate for it by any means. The consequence of this can be a deep depression, developing into a chronic one.
The main consequence of this phenomenon is the formation of psychological dependence. As professional activity here becomes that “crutch”, which helps out, becoming a fulcrum.
The workaholic himself is able to recognize the existence of dependence, but not immediately. He realizes that he is suffering, but he cannot understand the cause of his own torment. The result of this are attempts to find the causes and self-knowledge. It is there that awareness of underlying causes occurs. Often this is observed at the stage of crisis of the average age period.
Today, quite a few scientists agreed on the view that workaholism has a negative effect on human health. Workaholism is considered in psychiatry as self-destruction due to exhausting oneself with work. Moreover, if you look at statistical studies, it can be noted that not workaholism as a dependency is studied, but overtime work, which cannot be identified with labor addiction, since the time spent on the performance of official duties cannot be an adequate measure of workaholism.
Treatment of workaholism takes quite a long time and includes psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis and all types of long-term psychotherapy.
Insomnia, forgetfulness, irritability, constant mood swings from bright euphoria to a deep depressive state are considered as symptoms of workaholism. Clinical manifestations include: headaches, fatigue, dyspepsia, oxygen deficiency, dizziness, nervous tics.
Scientists also concluded that long hours devoted to professional activities increase the risk of nervous disorders and can cause dementia. The fact that overtime work adversely affects human health has long been known. It generates stress, chronic fatigue, which accordingly provokes somatic ailments.
One of the most common consequences of this addiction is the emergence of nicotine addiction or alcohol abuse.
The phenomenon under consideration is accompanied by characteristic personality transformations, affecting first and foremost the emotional-volitional zone. His escalation occurs in conjunction with the growth of emotional detachment, the appearance of deviations in the capacity for empathy, compassion (empathy).
Dependent workaholic is characterized by the inability to form close relationships, inability to relax outside work. Simply put, rejoice, get pleasure from being, he does not know how. Own stress state “blocks” such people the ability to rejoice, the ability to ease, creativity. They may not notice the change in the weather, the change of seasons, being constantly immersed in thoughts about work.
Family relationships in general are perceived by a workaholic as an annoying hindrance that distracts from work processes, as a result of which the family causes annoyance and irritation, and he considers the relationship itself to be a burden, requiring huge energy costs.
Conversations with relatives, comrades, watching entertainment programs or movies to slave laborers seem boring. He avoids discussing serious family problems, is suspended from raising children, does not pay them attention, does not give emotional warmth. According to the statistical bureau, in England, working parents with their children spend an average of no more than 19 minutes per day.
In everyday life, a workaholic is characterized by gloominess, intransigence, and avoiding the state of "doing nothing". Such a removal from reality, family, friends leads to the accumulation of family and interpersonal problems that destroy all social ties. Obsession with work as a cause of breaking relationships has become the norm today, as well as the lonely old age of the fanatical slaves of work. Among families where there are workaholics, divorces occur more often by 40% than in other couples.
Dependent on work has an impact on other members of family relationships, who can either take it as an example of imitation, or not accept this behavior and take the path of more destructive dependencies. Workaholic children often also have addictions.
Also in the family relationship, the intimate side of the marriage suffers, since the workaholics often have an intimate desire.
In connection with the sad prospects given above, many people have a question: how to deal with workaholism?
First of all, as with other cases of harmful addictions, it is necessary to realize the existence of dependence. A person should understand that his addiction to work has developed into a fanatical dependence and to chart his further paths. It is necessary to learn how to firmly refuse, because usually dependent individuals cannot remain deaf to the constant requests of colleagues for help. At the same time, the colleagues themselves do not really need help, it is easier for them to shift part of their own responsibilities onto the shoulders of the one who pulls them.
It is necessary to understand that each employee has his clearly prescribed duties that he needs to perform and the other person should not fulfill these duties for them.
In order to eliminate the main manifestations of the deviation described, it is recommended to rationalize your own routine. Usually a very large amount of time is devoted to useless cases that create the appearance of activity.
The blockage in the workplace, mainly due to the lack of a system, an established order. It is for this reason that all official tasks should be systematized and a work schedule should be drawn up with a strict framework for the execution of each task.
In addition, you need to remember the fundamental postulate, which consists in the following - in order to work effectively, you should fully relax. This rule must be adopted and followed closely.
You also need to learn how to switch, stop constantly thinking about the work process, try not to talk about work, being at home or with friends. It’s normal with close surroundings to share working peripetias or labor successes, but the professional sphere should not be the main topic of conversation among loved ones.
Escape from the annoying thoughts about everyday work is quite difficult for workaholics. First of all, you need to love yourself, understand that a person must develop not only in a professional field, but also be improved in other areas, for example, be formed in art, culturally educated. Therefore, you should establish an immutable rule for yourself - read at least 10 pages of fiction. Only not a cheap one-time reading matter, but a serious work, bringing something useful into existence. Reading is not only distracting, but is also a blessed food for the human brain.