Are you a hard worker or a workaholic? Dr. Bryan Robinson’s a psychotherapist who wrote the book Chained To The Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics. He says the problem of work addiction is getting worse these days, because the recession has left many people feeling anxiety about losing their jobs. He says it doesn’t help that work-addicted behavior often gets rewarded - with bonuses, promotions, or pats on the back for a job well done.
It should go without saying that work addiction can have major consequences on your family and your health. That’s what happened to Drew, a man we read about whom recently worked intense 20-hour days for nearly eight months! He said he never realized he had a problem until he suffered a mental breakdown, and needed to seek help.
So, what are the most common red flags of a workaholic? Dr. Robinson says one tell-tale sign is that you feel desperation, like you can never catch up with work. You may also have a sense of fear when you’re away from your desk – maybe because you’re afraid you’ll miss something like an important call or email. Or because you think someone else is angling for your job, or because you’re afraid the boss won’t think you’re working hard. Believe it or not, the best way to tell if you’re a workaholic is to take a vacation. Dr. Robinson says that’s because “normal” hard workers use vacations to provide balance in their lives – between work and home. If you’re the type of person who spends your vacations stressing about how you need to get back to work, then you may have a problem. To get help, we recommend finding counseling through a support group, like Workaholics-Anonymous.org.