January 20, 2014

“Respectable Addiction“ – Workaholism.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Written by Nirmala Raniga

There is a fine line between a dedicated employee and a workaholic, although, at first, it’s often difficult to see where one ends and the other begins.

Most organizations occasionally experience busy periods that require extra work. For instance, at tax time, employees of accounting firms often burn the midnight oil to handle their clients’ needs, or retail stores tend to ask their employees to work longer hours before the holidays or to take inventory. During these cyclical times, most employees willingly pitch in and feel good about being part of a successful team. When the rush is over, most of these individuals happily return to their regular hours, often having received some form of positive recognition or reward for giving up their personal time. For other employees, though, the end of the project doesn’t mean the end of late nights or the return of leisure time spent with family and friends. These latter employees are workaholics, people who are addicted to work.

In the U.S. and Canada, workaholism is the so-called "respectable addiction,” but it is as dangerous as any other. Workaholism is actually an obsessive-compulsive disorder that is not the same as working hard. A workaholic's obsession with work—be it a paying job or an independent pursuit such as sports, art, or music—is all-consuming and prevents him from maintaining healthy relationships, outside interests, and good health.

Experts say this incessant work-related activity masks anxiety, low self-esteem, and intimacy problems. And workaholics' denial and destructive behavior persist despite feedback from loved ones or danger signs such as deteriorating relationships and poor health. In fact, because there is less of a social stigma attached to workaholism than to other addictions, researchers say that symptoms of failing health can easily go undiagnosed or unrecognized.

Recent advances in technology, which were initially seen as efficient conduits to improving work-life balance, have further augmented the unhealthy psychoses of workaholics and served to increase their levels of work stress. “ … sophisticated and affordable technologies have made it more feasible for employees to keep contact with work.” [Boswell, Wendy and Olson, Julie. “The Use of Communication Technologies After Hours: The Role of Work Attitudes and Work-Life Conflict.” Journal of Management 33.4: 592-608. 2007.] The researchers go on to state that employees have many methods, including emails, computers, and cell phones, which enable them to accomplish their work beyond the physical boundaries of their offices. Often, employees may respond to an email or a voice mail after-hours or during the weekend, typically while not officially “on the job.” The research shows that employees who consider their work roles to be an important component of their identities will be more likely to apply these communication technologies to work while in their non-work domains. In this way, workaholics can maintain the appearance of family participation, but they are “mentally chained” to their smart phones and other gadgets.

“Workaholics are often unable to see that they have a problem. Confronting the workaholic will generally be met with denial. Co-workers, family members and friends may need to engage in some type of an intervention to communicate the effects of the workaholic’s behavior on them.” [Grzywacs, Joseph G., Almeida, David M., and McDonald, Daniel A. Work-Family Spillover and Daily Reports of Work and Family Stress in the Adult Labor Force. 2002.] Indeed, mental treatment to cure a workaholic can successfully reduce the hours spent on the job, while increasing the person’s productivity. Studies show that fully recovered former workaholics are able to accomplish in 50 hours what they previously couldn't do in 80.

The Chopra Addiction & Wellness Center (CTC), located in Squamish, British Columbia, helps guests become free from addictions, including workaholism, to regain a sense of balance in their lives. CTC offers the first holistic addiction recovery method in North America, combining the latest breakthroughs in modern Western medicine with the mindfulness approach of ancient Ayurvedic healing methods to unlock the human potential and effect a return to wholeness. Through group and individual therapy sessions, massage, acupuncture, music and art therapy, and daily yoga and meditation, CTC guests benefit from the guidance of highly trained professionals and healing techniques that address all five senses and underlying emotional pain to create new ways of being with themselves and others.

For more information on how the Chopra Treatment Center helps people change their addictive behaviors, visit www.chopratreatmentcenter.com

Write Your Comment

  1. Ron Greenstein

    Does the Chopra Treatment Center offer a recovery program for us goofoffaholics?

  2. Shikhaliyev Tabriz

    actually Dawkins destroyed this guy :D but you still believe in him :D

  3. Theselfhelpwebsite

    When it comes to the work, you have always to ask yourself: did you really want this job that you worked so hard to attain? Are you still inspired? Do you still have dreams? Are you still astounded by what happens around you? If you ask yourselves these questions seriously, how many of you can actually answer “yes”? Very few, without a doubt. This is not a personal impression, all you have to do is look around you to realize it is true. Where does the violence you read about in the papers or view on television or Internet come from if not from dissatisfaction? What is violence, if not the irrational response to a life one didn’t want for himself? The man who hits his wife is, of course, a dangerous individual, but in that context only uses the woman as a pretext to vent his inadequacies, avoiding shifting the blame on himself and preferring a scapegoat instead, which will never solve his problem. Aren’t those who favor war or hate made of the same material? What is war – a battle with people you don’t know and who haven’t done anything to you personally – if not a search for an external excuse for your own failures and frustrations? You were destined to something else, but because of them your life is a horrendous series of days that repeat themselves, without any hope of improvement. So, let’s kill, mistreat and incarcerate them, so that they pay the price of their wrongdoing and your life can improve. This distorted logic has brought about so much pain and suffering for humanity and continues to do so. Unfortunately, putting oneself under the microscope is the most difficult thing one can do. Through the years you create reference points for yourself and if you lose them, you feel like little, lost children in the woods and your reactions may be unpredictable and, at times, dangerous for yourself and for others.

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