Workaholism is a pathological dependence of a person on his work activity, when he can receive true joy and pleasure only by completing assignments and tasks. A person only in this sees his vocation, the opportunity to self-actualize and get approval from others. Over time, the workaholic becomes not enough of his work and he takes on any opportunities just to stay in the office or take work home. Obviously, all this “works” against a person, unless we consider his good through the prism of inhuman (inhuman) values. A person who “puts life” on work to the detriment of, say, a family can do it quite consciously – based on some “higher” values (for example, building a bright future), but such values, in fact, always turn out to be outside the field of humanism.
Causes of occurrence
Scientists have always been interested in the question of why some people become workaholics, while others in the same conditions will pass this fate. What is the reason for the development of workaholism? Psychologists have identified a number of personal characteristics and characteristics of work that provoke the emergence of labor dependence:
- perfectionism, that is, the desire to be the best in everything;
- workaholics are usually the only children in the family;
- low or high self-esteem;
- scrupulousness, getting stuck on details;
- inability to accept and analyze your emotions;
- problems of an intimate and personal nature;
- excessive competition in the team;
- system of continuous monitoring of work performance, external pressure.
Signs of workaholism
What distinguishes a workaholic person from an ordinary hardworking citizen? Workaholism is a pathological behavior, and if you look closely at such a person, you can trace constantly manifested features, or the so-called “fad” of a workaholic:
- talks only about work;
- uses in speech the words: “must”, “must plow”, “demand”, “work above the roof”;
- periods of weekends and holidays are perceived by a workaholic as a waste of time;
- at home all thoughts of work;
- rest and pleasure is not about a workaholic: he feels worthless and restless;
- ignores the needs of the family, all responsibility for solving household issues and the process of raising children lies with the second partner;
- emotional coldness and detachment;
- convinces others that he is working to support the family or comes up with another excuse.
Types of workaholism
There are such types of workaholism:
- volunteer – activists who are ready to complete tasks for free or for a penny;
- creative – a manic passion for creating masterpieces, creative people often suffer from it;
- sports – constant thirst to improve your body;
- home – full surrender and self-sacrifice for the sake of the family, home and children.
Workaholics are ideal employees who are often overlooked. The bosses like their level, but they do not seek to reward the employee for this.
There are several types of workaholics
The show-off workaholic loves to develop vigorous activity in the presence of his superiors. The rest of the time, he is lazy and relaxed.
The “temporary” workaholic stays at work periodically, during the development and release of new ambitious projects of the company. Upon completion of the task, it returns to its normal working rhythm.
A workaholic rush-worker enjoys working on tight deadlines. Spending most of the time in the smoking room or on the Internet, he easily and simply performs his duties an hour before the end of the working day.
A true workaholic lives only by work, does not know how to rest, is fixated on work problems, he has pathological fatigue and, as a result, constant mistakes.
Workaholism can be cured if a person realizes in time that he is sick, that there are serious gaps and difficulties in his life, from which he runs away to work, not solving, but only aggravating them.
Psychologists distinguish three types of workaholics with their own personality traits and motives:
For my own sake. These people are first motivated by the desire to make a lot of money and significantly improve their standard of living. Then they are drawn into the labor process, and work becomes an end in itself, an activity that brings pleasure to them, and the opinion of other people is absolutely indifferent to them;
For the sake of others. Such workaholics want to prove that they are superior to others in competence and performance, which turns into an obsessive desire;
“Losers”. They do not have any specific goals and intentions regarding employment. They work to fill time and emptiness in soul and life.
Workaholism is often combined with alcoholism (“an alcoholic is a golden hand”) and emotional dependence. The workaholic cares a lot about others, giving them the impression of parental care. However, at the same time, he puts the person under guardianship in infantile dependence, makes him feel inept, stupid, dependent. The reason for this concern is not sympathy, but perfectionism and the need for self-affirmation at someone else’s expense: “I know everything and can do better than you.” The workaholic’s penchant for the role of the Savior is explained by the following motives:
- a sense of their irreplaceability;
- time filling;
- getting a pleasant well-deserved fatigue;
- discharge of aggression in the form of reproaches.
The consequences of workaholism
The main consequence of this phenomenon is the formation of psychological dependence. Since professional activity here becomes that “crutch” that helps out, becoming a fulcrum.
The workaholic himself is able to admit the existence of addiction, but not immediately. He realizes that he is suffering, but he cannot understand the cause of his own suffering. The consequence of this is attempts to find causes and self-knowledge. It is there that the understanding of the underlying causes occurs. This is often observed during the midlife crisis stage.
Today, quite a few scientists have agreed on the view that workaholism has a negative impact on human health. Workaholism is considered in psychiatry as self-destruction due to the exhaustion of oneself with work. At the same time, if you look into statistical studies, it can be noted that it is not workaholism that is studied as an addiction, but overtime work, which cannot be equated with work addiction, since the time spent on the performance of official duties cannot be an adequate measure of workaholism.
The development process of workaholism can be conditionally divided into three stages:
- Stage 1 (initial). It is characterized by recurring production costs.
- Stage 2 (visible). Effort at work is gradually moving from periodic to frequent and goes to the detriment of personal life. The beginnings of perfectionism and feelings of guilt for the lack of quality of work appear.
- Stage 3 (explicit). Demanding to oneself and obsession with work leads the workaholic to physical and mental exhaustion. He is simply unable to work effectively due to the inability to concentrate and chronic fatigue.
Since workaholism is a form of mental addiction, this addiction cannot be overcome in one day with the help of some kind of miracle pill. Drug treatment plays a secondary role, aimed at strengthening the nervous system, stabilizing the emotional status, eliminating anxiety and fears.
The leading role in the treatment of workaholism is given to psychotherapeutic work aimed at the social adaptation of a person. The success of therapeutic measures is possible only under the condition: the subject recognizes the abnormality of his condition and is ready to make efforts to make changes in life.
The task of the psychologist: to motivate the client to communicate in society, to stimulate interest in activities other than work. The doctor explains to the workaholic that his addiction is a variant of escape from reality, which arose due to an unresolved psychological problem. The goal of the psychologist is, together with the client, to establish the true culprit of the internal conflict and try to interpret the traumatic situation in a different way. In some situations, it is advisable to resort to hypnosis techniques to eliminate the irrational components of addiction.
Treatment of workaholism takes quite a long time and includes psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis and all types of long-term psychotherapy.