In broad sense, being a workaholic means you put in way too much hours at work. That’s why many could refer jokingly to themselves as workaholics.
Unfortunately, workaholism isn’t a joking matter. It is a form of addiction (read: obsession) which doesn’t have proper drugs or treatments to treat it. So yeah, a work addict is pretty much on their own.
So is workaholism really just about not being able to quit when it’s time to leave the office? Maybe it is more like neglecting the state of your health, family, life in return for placing all your attention on work. It’s difficult to identify a workaholic from a slow worker whom just can’t finish his pile of work on time.
Some signs of a workaholic: (better identified by family and friends)
- Hurrying; always staying busy.
- The need to control.
- Difficulty with relationships.
- Work binges.
- Difficulty relaxing and having fun.
- Memory loss due to exhaustion.
- Mental preoccupation with work.
- Impatience and irritability.
- Feelings of self-inadequacy.
Then what are the effects of workaholism?
- Burnout and dissatisfaction with work.
- Increased rates of absenteeism from work.
- Depressive symptoms.
- Increased anxiety.
- Angry outbursts.
- Stress-associated physical health issues, including fatigue and anxiety.
- Chest pains and shortness of breath.
- Family problems due to the conflicting demands of family life and work.
- Higher levels of marital conflict.
- Increased risk of substance abuse.
- Elevated feelings of stress.
How do I realized that I am suffering from workaholism? I have all of the signs and suffering most of the effects after 6 long years working under an abusive superior in a abusive environment.
I am pretty sure I started out desperate to please because I needed the money to survive. And when my working relationship with my superior grew quickly abusive, I talked myself out of leaving because I blamed myself for not living up to her standards (whatever they may be because she never explains what she was so angry about).
To “make up for my inadequacies”, I became obsessed with every tiny detail of my tasks, anticipating the next yelling session around the corner. My job consumed me, I dread Mondays, then I began to dread Sunday afternoons too, then I dread Saturday evenings too, and finally I dread Fridays as well. My whole week is just one big dread cycle. I no longer have my life to live, alternating between obsess and dread. Even on sick days I was working the phones settling stuff.
On 20/20 hindsight, that was one very harsh way to live. I can’t believe I lived through more than 6 years of it. So many hearts ached for me when they saw me lived that existence. They asked me repeatedly, “Why do I want to live like this?”
I have no answer, it wasn’t by choice internationally. I just wanted to be approved by a superior who doesn’t deserved to be in that seat. I was stupid enough to want approval from someone so undeserving.
What did I get in return?
Ms. Abusive squashed me like a fly and threw me out of the window. I enriched her working life while she was in this office, and when she left for another office, she made sure I lose my job.
That’s what I got in return.
Still think workaholism is a joke now?