Burnout in the Workplace: When Work Becomes an Addiction

Glasses, flash drive, and tablet

In our society today, achievement in the workplace is often regarded as success, and many individuals will go to any length to obtain such status in their work environment. Working long hours, staying overtime, going above and beyond what might be required of your job duties is often perceived as a strong work ethic.

What if work and the drive to achieve success in the workplace begins to interfere with daily living? Is there such a thing as working too much?

Work Ethic vs Work Addiction

Understanding the fine line between a strong work ethic and a work addiction can be difficult; especially considering how hard work is celebrated and praised in the work force.

Like with anything however, if work is taken to the extreme or used as a means of meeting an emotional need, it is possible that these behaviors can be categorized as an addiction.

If work is taking the place of normal, daily activities, and if personal health and quality of life becomes negatively impacted by work behaviors, there may indeed be a situation involving an addiction to work.

An addiction to work can develop for various reasons, including a drive for success or desire to obtain a certain standard of living, finding value or purpose, or using work as a means of escaping from overwhelming emotions or circumstances.

Signs of Addiction

Whatever the reason may be, a person with a work addiction may exhibit many signs and symptoms of this behavior, including failed and/or broken relationships, poor or neglected health, and the abandonment of other important priorities, such as parenting.

Sad businessman next to some wall looking downIf you believe that you or someone you love might be struggling with a work addiction, it is important to seek out professional help and care. Many individuals who struggle with a work addiction can be in denial about what they are dealing with.

Part of this reason may be because of the success or praise they are receiving for their work habits.

However, if a person is suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally as a result of their work habits, this may be indicative that a significant problem is at hand.

Seek out the counselor of a therapist or specialist who can begin to help you appropriately address this complex issue.

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 11, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.