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Work addiction


Currently, a large number of people around the world suffer from what is known as work addiction ; those who suffer from it are called workaholics . It is a psychological disorder whose main characteristic is an excessive need to work continuously, which significantly damages personal relationships, as well as one’s own physical and psychological health.

In Spain, about 12% of active workers suffer from this condition . It is worth noting that the percentage of people addicted to work has increased considerably in recent years. Currently, about 8% of the Spanish workforce dedicates more than 12 hours a day to work.

What are the causes of work addiction?

The causes that give rise to this disorder are many, sometimes given by third parties.

  • Ambition: Without a doubt, one of the most common causes of work addiction is excessive ambition. Although in the vast majority of cases it has to do exclusively with money, the truth is that there are also workaholics whose sole objective is to get a powerful position, both professionally and personally.
  • Financial problems: financial problems can also lead many people to work more hours than they should each day, without any kind of break or rest.
  • Organization: another of the most common causes that give rise to this disorder is the lack of organization, both of the tasks and the time necessary to carry them out. A situation that leads to a large backlog of tasks.
  • Personality: Personality is another key factor in understanding work addiction. There are some shy people and / or with high levels of stress who are unable to delegate tasks or refuse to the requests of their superiors.

Symptoms of work addiction

Work addiction is a relatively simple disorder to diagnose since the symptoms are very clear. The vast majority of workaholics show a compulsive attitude both professionally and personally ; They work intensively and have great difficulties in giving themselves away and disconnecting in the company of their family and / or friends.

Another of the symptoms of this addiction has to do with the need to have absolutely everything under control. Thus, those who suffer from it suffer from high levels of stress when they do not obtain the expected performance before a certain task or feel that the situation is getting out of hand.

The work environment with workaholics is extremely complicated as they have difficulty relating to the rest of their colleagues.

The life of workaholics revolves solely and exclusively around their professional life . They hardly attach importance to other areas, such as personal or social.

And finally, there are also symptoms that affect both the physical and mental health of people addicted to work: anxiety, irritability, sadness, stress, insomnia , frequent headaches, muscle tension and even sexual dysfunction.

5 signs that identify workaholics

Below we explain what are the main hallmarks of workaholics.

  1. No to rest: these types of professionals look for all kinds of excuses not to rest or take a vacation. A week or two away from your profession can seem like a practically impossible mission.
  2. 24 hour connection: workaholics are available 24 hours a day. They are unable to go outside without their mobile phone and need to be permanently connected to the Internet.
  3. Tasks must be done by yourself: people who suffer from work addiction are unable to delegate tasks, so they face an excessive volume of work.
  4. Social life: as is logical, your social life is practically nil. When they are not in the office, in the vast majority of cases they are at home, where they can continue working.
  5. Success: another of the signs that identifies those people who suffer from work addiction is their great egocentricity. They are convinced that all the projects they carry out are a great success.
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Consequences of work addiction

This disorder does not lead to life-threatening health complications; unlike other addictions, such as alcohol or drugs. However, workaholics do significantly harm both the personal and social lives of workaholics.

They are people totally incapable of not working and who, consequently, totally put aside their friends and family. If the situation continues in time, workaholics become more and more isolated until a time comes when they are totally alone.

Therefore, work addiction leads to separations and divorces, breakdown of relationships with friends and family, emotional problems in children due to not spending enough time with them …

Can work addiction be treated?

When the symptoms of this disorder occur and a psychologist diagnoses a person as a workaholic, it is time to begin psychological treatment . The best tool is what is known as cognitive behavioral therapy; It is a type of therapy that allows the patient to achieve the level of self-control they need to properly manage their work. In addition, it teaches you how you can enjoy your free time.

This type of therapy places special emphasis on the cause that has led a certain person to become a workaholic. If, for example, you have an introverted personality and are unable to delegate tasks or say no to your superiors, through this therapy you learn to take a firmer attitude.

Tips to prevent work addiction

Here are a series of tips to assess to prevent work addiction. These are very simple tips but it is worth taking into account to avoid this disorder.

  • It is important to determine a work schedule and respect it 100%. It is not a good idea to answer calls or emails outside of business hours; Once the day is over, it is time to disconnect and enjoy with friends and / or family.
  • It is also inadvisable to accept more obligations or tasks than can actually be attended to . It is important to properly manage both time and resources.
  • Of course, whenever necessary, it is advisable to delegate the tasks to the rest of the team members .
  • In certain jobs, there are pending tasks to be done every day ; that does not imply that the worker is inefficient.
  • And, finally, it is very important to take care of both social and personal life ; enjoy and make the most of time in the company of friends and / or family.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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