When a person drinks too much, they’re sent to rehab. However, if a person works too hard, they usually get a pat on the back. What if all that work is a sign of something more dangerous? It’s called workaholism, and according to WebMD, it affects millions in North Americans – whether or not they have jobs!
Psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson says workaholism is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that’s not the same as working hard or putting in long hours. Hard workers have balance in their lives, but workaholics don’t. They can’t have healthy relationships or outside interests, and they neglect their health. It’s like this: a hard worker daydreams about skiing at work, while a workaholic would rather be working than skiing. Even though workaholics put in long hours and sacrifice their health and loved ones for their jobs, surprisingly, they’re not effective workers. Why? Because they’re not team players, they have trouble delegating or trusting their co-workers, or they take on too much and aren’t as organized as others. Dr. Robinson said there are three types of workaholics:
- First, there’s the relentless workaholic who’s an adrenaline junkie. They take on more work than anyone could possibly do alone.
- Next, the attention-deficit workaholic starts a project, but doesn’t finish it because they lose interest. Then they start something else they’ll never finish.
- The savoring workaholic is overly careful. They can’t let go of projects and don’t work well with others, and they constantly miss deadlines because they don’t think their work is perfect.
What can be done if you or someone you know is a workaholic? Dr. Robinson says you’ve got to be able to turn work off and find balance. If that doesn’t work, try either counseling or a support group like Workaholics Anonymous.