definition of workaholism as a disease. How do you become a workaholic? A form of dependent behavior in psychology. Signs of workaholism and treatment

Workaholic: definition, manifestations, methods of treatment

Accord­ing to the Eng­lish­man Charles Dar­win, labor made man out of apes. Our famous com­pa­tri­ot Vis­sar­i­on Belin­sky argued that labor enno­bles a per­son. Both of these have been instilled in most of us since child­hood. As well as the truth that says that patience and work will grind every­thing. And it’s hard to dis­agree with that. With­out hard work, it is almost impos­si­ble to achieve at least some sig­nif­i­cant results in any indus­try.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, for some, work becomes not a means to an end, but an end in itself. It’s about worka­holics. Con­so­nance with “alco­holics” is not acci­den­tal. Both of them are at risk. Most often, they lose their health, their psy­che is shak­en, they have no friends, fam­i­ly, and, in prin­ci­ple, the joys of life are unknown to them. Who are worka­holics, and how do they become?

What it is?

Worka­holics are not born, they are made. These are peo­ple who have allowed them­selves to be com­plete­ly absorbed in their work. In psy­chol­o­gy and psy­chother­a­py, this form of addic­tive behav­ior is con­sid­ered noth­ing more than a dis­ease. A per­son with such a diag­no­sis is most often an inse­cure indi­vid­ual. This type of addic­tion is accom­pa­nied by inad­e­quate behav­ior and out­look on life, an altered state of con­scious­ness. The main def­i­n­i­tion and char­ac­ter­is­tic of such a per­son is a strong, patho­log­i­cal crav­ing for work, which is in the first place in his life.

He no longer remem­bers what is good, what is bad, he is full of work, calls him­self a work­er, con­sid­ers him­self a hero, but in fact this is a “client” of a psy­chi­a­trist.

Experts call the fol­low­ing pre­req­ui­sites for turn­ing a per­son into a worka­holic:

  • Even as a child, you left prob­lems for work, sat down for lessons, ran to col­lect waste paper, immersed your­self in the social life of the class.
  • Your par­ents worked, as they say, con­sci­en­tious­ly. They spent day and night at work, while earn­ing lit­tle, but their pho­tographs were on the hon­or roll, their bed­room was hung with let­ters and awards for mil­i­tary work.
  • As a child, you wait­ed for praise from mom and dad so much that you were ready to spend hours clean­ing, prepar­ing break­fast for them, tak­ing out the trash every day, and work­ing with your younger sis­ter.
  • You want to feel your own impor­tance as a result of the work you have done.
  • It is dif­fi­cult for you to find a com­mon lan­guage with peo­ple, you feel uncom­fort­able in the com­pa­ny.
  • For your work, it is enough for you to receive praise from your supe­ri­ors, you are much less inter­est­ed in mon­ey and oth­er ben­e­fits.

If some­thing like this has hap­pened to you, you may have already tak­en the first step into the abyss of worka­holism. So how can you rec­og­nize a worka­holic in your­self or a loved one and stop the process of per­son­al­i­ty destruc­tion in time?

Signs of workaholism

This dis­ease, like most oth­ers, devel­ops grad­u­al­ly. And at the ini­tial stages, it man­i­fests itself weak­ly. There­fore, it is very dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy it imme­di­ate­ly. More­over, ini­tial­ly such zeal is assessed by col­leagues and supe­ri­ors as a pos­i­tive exam­ple. A worka­holic works 20 hours a day, 30 days a month. Thus accu­mu­lates fatigue, but does not show the form.

And it does­n’t mat­ter if it’s a man or a woman. Ill­ness spares no one.

Yes­ter­day’s lazy per­son can also turn into a worka­holic. In dif­fer­ent coun­tries of the world, they are look­ing for meth­ods to com­bat this dis­ease. After all, it is not in vain that labor leg­is­la­tion, which stands for the pro­tec­tion of the “work­ing class”, is reg­u­lar­ly changed. We all have the right not only to work, but also to rest, and we are sim­ply oblig­ed to use it. End­less work will inevitably lead to exhaus­tion, both phys­i­cal and moral.

But first you will encounter the fol­low­ing phe­nom­e­na:

  • You do not want to meet and talk with any­one, you sim­ply do not have the strength or time for this.
  • You immerse your­self in your­self, become with­drawn.
  • You find solace in gam­bling or alco­hol.
  • You are inca­pable of show­ing feel­ings.
  • You have for­got­ten how to enjoy, as well as, in prin­ci­ple, the abil­i­ty to rejoice.
  • You are not even inter­est­ed in what used to be the mean­ing of life.
  • You often swear. In prin­ci­ple, aggres­sion and anger become char­ac­ter­is­tic of you.
  • You get tired quick­ly, and this infu­ri­ates you even more.

We are not clock­work bun­nies, we can­not change the bat­tery at any con­ve­nient moment. We our­selves must use our ener­gy wise­ly.

In the end, it was not in vain that work helped the ape to become a man, accord­ing to Dar­win’s the­o­ry.

If among the fol­low­ing you find a word­ing famil­iar to your behav­ior, it’s time to think:

  • You neglect rest.
  • Out­side of work, you become irri­ta­ble.
  • With­out a job, you feel dis­sat­is­fied.
  • You are ready to shoul­der the respon­si­bil­i­ties of oth­ers.
  • You feel a surge of ener­gy, your own self-suf­fi­cien­cy and self-con­fi­dence, only when you are at the work­place.
  • Return­ing home, you imme­di­ate­ly grow gloomy, become vul­ner­a­ble, you are not inter­est­ed in any­thing.
  • From your col­leagues, as well as from your­self, you demand extra­or­di­nary ded­i­ca­tion.
  • You can’t stand crit­i­cism.
  • Any fail­ure at work dri­ves you crazy.
  • Apart from work, noth­ing makes you hap­py.
  • You take work home or come to the office even on your day off.
  • All con­ver­sa­tions at home or at meet­ings with friends are only about work.
  • When you go to bed, you think about work.
  • You are not inter­est­ed in how much you earn, but only in how much you make.

Types of disease

Worka­holics are dif­fer­ent. Depend­ing on the social sta­tus, men­tal state, edu­ca­tion in the end.


The “active” life posi­tion of such a worka­holic does not give him time to rest. He cares about every­thing that hap­pens in the work team and every col­league. Col­leagues, in turn, laugh at him at best, hate him at worst.


This worka­holic cur­ry favor with his supe­ri­ors and him­self, now and then takes work home. For exam­ple, this is an accoun­tant who takes papers home for the week­end to com­plete the report­ing.


A tal­ent­ed per­son is tal­ent­ed in every­thing. So worka­holics from cre­ative per­son­al­i­ties are extra­or­di­nary. They do not sleep for days to fin­ish a book, play, put on a play, make a film. As soon as they fin­ish with one project, they imme­di­ate­ly take on anoth­er.


This worka­holic “lives” in the gym. And he not nec­es­sar­i­ly a pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete. Among fit­ness fans, there are also such peo­ple. They are not afraid of heavy loads and, as a result, numer­ous injuries. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, this is just an illu­sion, which often not only throws such a worka­holic from Olym­pus, but also brings him to a wheel­chair.


Such worka­holics are more com­mon among the beau­ti­ful half of human­i­ty. They for­get that they are the weak­er sex and go, as it seems to them, to pro­tect even more vul­ner­a­ble — chil­dren. They for­get to do a man­i­cure or touch up their gray hair, but they know exact­ly the sched­ule of their child’s lessons, the time of the next par­ent meet­ing, they orga­nize field trips, hol­i­days for the whole class. And it’s all good, of course. but such ladies lit­er­al­ly spit on them­selves. Does a child need such a moth­er?


“For myself”

These worka­holics can still be quick­ly helped. Despite the fact that they spend most of their time and ener­gy at work, some­times a thought aris­es in their bright head, but am I too zeal­ous? More­over, some­times they try to find the joys of life out­side of work.

“For others”

It is dif­fi­cult or almost impos­si­ble to help such worka­holics. Every­thing suits him, but he does not notice that his absence caus­es suf­fer­ing to rel­a­tives. As he does not notice almost any­thing around, except for work, of course. That’s why there is no prob­lem for him, which means that he will refuse help.


Per­haps the most com­mon type of worka­holic. It seems to him that every­thing is work­ing out for him, which means that there are no prob­lems. He goes to his goal, destroy­ing every­thing in his path, his own health, rela­tion­ships with loved ones and even his sav­ings, which often do not return to him.


This type is treat­able in some cas­es. Such a worka­holic is lit­er­al­ly hit­ting a wall. He only pre­tends to work hard. As a result, his efforts come to noth­ing. His actions are irra­tional. He sim­ply has noth­ing else to do. And some­times he admits it.


Com­rade dif­fi­cult, but cur­able. He con­stant­ly com­plains that he is tired. Says he is being forced to do more than he can han­dle. Such a worka­holic sup­pos­ed­ly always over­loaded. In fact, he rush­es to work, because only there he feels his need. Fear of lone­li­ness and under­es­ti­ma­tion makes a per­son so.

How to get rid?

A worka­holic, like oth­er addicts, is dif­fi­cult to cure. But the soon­er you start doing this, the bet­ter. With­out the help of a spe­cial­ist, treat­ment is unlike­ly to be effec­tive. It is best to con­tact a qual­i­fied psy­chol­o­gist who will help you stop being a worka­holic and learn to relax.

In some cas­es, you can not do with­out the help of a psy­chother­a­pist. Cog­ni­tive tech­niques in psy­chother­a­py help in most cas­es.


A worka­holic is dan­ger­ous pri­mar­i­ly for him­self. He soon­er or lat­er devel­ops insom­nia, he becomes for­get­ful, irri­ta­ble, he is char­ac­ter­ized by sud­den mood swings. As a result - fre­quent headaches, ner­vous tics, dizzi­ness and oth­er “charms”. There is even an opin­ion that exces­sive work depen­dence leads to demen­tia.

More often, worka­holics become sus­cep­ti­ble to oth­er more com­mon mis­for­tunes and harm their body through the use of alco­hol or even drugs.

Expert advice

If you feel that such a dis­ease is only approach­ing you, then try to stop it at the “thresh­old”.

To do this, experts rec­om­mend giv­ing your­self hon­est answers to the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

  • What are you run­ning from at work? Are you afraid of being alone or, on the con­trary, do com­pa­nies scare you?
  • What scares you more — the fail­ure that will befall at work, or the pun­ish­ment that you will incur for this?
  • What makes you go to work after hours? A desire to feel impor­tant or need­ed, or maybe you just don’t know what else to do with your­self?
  • Do you like the role of the sav­ior of every­one and every­thing? But do the “saved” need your help?
  • Do you like being praised and say­ing “thank you”?
  • You feel more con­fi­dent when every­thing is under your con­trol.

Only by under­stand­ing the rea­sons for your ten­den­cy to worka­holism, you can get away from this addic­tion. Often the roots of the prob­lem are buried in child­hood. You weed­ed the gar­den for days on end, and your moth­er did not notice, you got a five, and your father did not buy a choco­late bar. Here you are wait­ing for the lost grat­i­tude. But believe me, this will not lead to any­thing good. You dri­ve your­self. Chron­ic fatigue, ner­vous exhaus­tion, a painful con­di­tion — worka­holics have no time to go to the doc­tor.

There­fore, you have only two ways — either go the oth­er way and stop putting work in the first or even the only place in your life, or burn out at work in the lit­er­al and fig­u­ra­tive sense of the word.

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