Workaholics anonymous

“Workaholism”—is just another addiction, similar to alcoholism.

How often on your way from work do you say “hello!” to a janitor who’s working his night shift? Do you suffer from insomnia? Are you fearful of what future might bring? Do you feel uneasy in a happy, carefree company of friends? Do you try to avoid conversations with your spouse/kids at home by immersing yourself in a bunch of newspapers? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it's time to get worried—you are close to confusing your career with your family life…

“Workaholism”—is just another addiction, similar to alcoholism. Men are most susceptible to developing this illness. They have always been considered “bread winners” in a family and nowadays, this serves as a decent excuse for most of them. People that mainly deal with mental work are most likely to become workaholics, because physical work cannot last long. A typical example of present-day workaholics is computer programmers.

Workaholism can be cured only if a person considers himself a workaholic and admits the fact that he has a major problem(s) that he tries to avoid by burying himself in work.

Those who suffer from such condition possess a rather abnormal mentality. Many specialists consider that these people are constantly overwhelmed by anxiety. While incapable of transferring their work/duties to someone else, they falsely assume that they can keep everything under control.

Similar to other cases concerning addiction, those are mainly family members who begin noticing something strange. It is a rather difficult task to catch proper timing before one’s love of work turns into obsession.

In fact, one of the main problems of workaholism is such that it is difficult to draw a border between one’s love of work and a real disease. A person that simply enjoys what he/she does is simply the one who enjoys working altogether. A workaholic on the contrary, is a slave of his work, who would be happy to rest but simply cannot. A workaholic is a person with certain psychological problems. Oftentimes, the roots of such psychological traumas go deep into the person's past experiences, be it his/her fear of failure, fear of loneliness or vice versa, fear of communications. Most often however, workaholism evolves from constant fear of personal relationships, unsatisfying relationships with kids, divorce, or disappointment in a lasting relationship. In this case, work becomes a protective shield, reflecting all negative emotions.

There exist several types of workaholics:

Workaholic for others”-this is the one who works hard and feels happy about it. His mother, friends, wife and kids (if he ever manages to get married) on the contrary, are rather unhappy about such fact, but cannot do anything about it. In fact no one can “help” this particular type. This is equivalent to treating a drug addict who does not want to get better. 

Workahholic for himself”- this is the one who works hard but experiences rather controversial feelings. This person is not completely hopeless. He does dedicate some time to his family, wife and kids.  

Successful workaholic”- this person is capable of becoming a very successful professional. 

Workaholic-loser”- this person focuses on absolutely useless things. Nobody needs his work. He merely imitates work to fill the void. 

Secretive workaholic”- he is the one who often complains about his work, but in reality dedicates all his time, energy and love to his work.

Olga Basnina

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov