Work addiction can at first appear very healthy, after all, isn’t it just about developing a career and having a stable financial situation? However, work addiction can be just as destructive as any substance addiction. Compulsive working takes a person further away from family, friends and other social activities. Driven to work harder and longer hours, there is an attempt to achieve higher standards, often denying a fear of failure or underachieving. Often work is more exciting than spending time within the family. Family and friends start to give up on expecting the workaholic to show up to events or social occasions. There are no such things as general interests or hobbies.

Work addiction is no different to other addictions. The work addict may be avoiding intimacy within a relationship or they may be in a relationship that they no longer wish to be in and therefore use work as an avoidance mechanism. They may have self-esteem and self-worth issues. There may be a need to obtain affirmation within the work environment to make up for something lost or missing in their past life.

An addiction to work is often very subtle and difficult to challenge – it is well protected. Part of this subtlety is that workaholism can manifest as a complete inertia or under activity. Compulsive working or procrastination are ways in which emotions can be blotted out. Workaholism might also present itself through hobbies, sport or housework.

Our expert therapists at Addiction Care are qualified and experienced in helping people with all kinds of addictive behaviours, including work addiction. In treatment, we promote abstinence which involves creating a balanced plan, structure and routine around work and importantly building in time to re-engage with other areas of living. This will normally mean addressing issues which make the person escape into work addiction.