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Is Work Addiction Harmful?

Combatting Workaholism with Mindfulness Meditation

Addiction is any habit that you continue to do even though it brings harmful consequences to you. People who are addicted to work have a compulsive need to work all the time. He or she feels compelled to work more hours than normal. Special events or dates with loved ones are canceled due to the individual’s preference to work.

Work addiction is an escape from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, or guilt. When you are busy at work, you do not have time to think about these emotions. When you are not at work, stress is more intense because your focus is still on working and being productive. Many people with a work addiction feel the need to work to achieve status and success.

Healthy activities and hobbies are put on hold for your devotion to work. The compulsion to work interferes with daily activities and commitments. Work becomes more important than anything else and hinders relationships with loved ones. Family and friends are affected by your inability to keep commitments and infatuation with work.

Excessive work habits can be harmful to your health. The compulsion to work leads a person to repeat the behavior that gives him or her a high, much like a person who has a drug addiction. People with a work addiction are not able to stop the behavior despite the negative ways it affects their health. Overworking can interfere with exercising and eating a healthy diet, which can lead to gaining weight or obesity. The stress of working long hours disrupts normal sleep patterns causing exhaustion and sluggishness.

When overworking interferes with your health and relationships, you may need to look at other ways to relieve stress and cut back on work hours. If you do not think you can make changes or that not being at work makes you feel anxious or sick, get professional guidance. A therapist or psychiatrist can help you work through your compulsive work behavior. More time will be available to spend with family and friends and enjoy healthy activities.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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