Unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs, a work addiction cannot be as easily labeled or identified. Particularly in a culture and society that rewards a hard work ethic, a work addiction can be disguised as a dedication and commitment to a job. However, what if work is taken to the extreme or used as a means of escaping from difficult circumstances? Anything taken or used in an extreme measure can be potentially dangerous and lead to adverse consequences, even work.
Work as an Escape
For some individuals, work might become an escape from a harsher reality – particularly if work is providing some form of relief from current circumstances or overwhelming emotions.
Obtaining success and achievement at work may even be a method of creating value and finding worth, which can drive a person to obsession with their working habits and behaviors on the job.
Even success in a career or job can become a negative thing if this is causing a person to neglect more important priorities, including daily responsibilities, self-care and more.
If a work addiction has developed, obtaining professional care is essential for recovery. Similar to other forms of addiction, seeking out comprehensive care that directly meets individual needs is needed for helping a person find healing and balance with work and other aspects of their life.
Treatment options that are available typically involve a range of services, including psychotherapy/behavioral therapy from a qualified therapist/counselor, support groups, psychiatric care and possible medication management.
Often times, forms of addiction co-occur with mental illness, such as mood or behavioral disorders, and for these reasons, having a complete evaluation by a specialist can be helpful in addressing the full scope of issues that may be present.
While it may be difficult to open up about your struggles or even admit that a problem may be present, seeking out professional help and care is an important and necessary step forward in overcoming an addiction to work.
If you suspect that someone you care for may be dealing with an addiction to work, consider having a conversation in which you can openly and compassionately express your concerns. Because a work addiction is easily guised as commitment to a job, a work addiction can often go unnoticed for a long period of time until more severe consequences begin developing.
Take the first step towards help and treatment by speaking with someone you love and trust about possible treatment options for a work addiction.
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 February 15, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com