Similar to other behavioral addictions, work addiction is characterized by a compulsive desire to work in order to avoid facing personal issues, such as unresolved trauma or emotional upset. The work addict will find that he is unable to cut back on time spent working regardless of personal consequences and continued attempts to do so.
Since hard work and diligence are not considered dysfunctional or harmful behavior, It is not uncommon for the work addict to remain undiagnosed for a prolonged period of time. But make no mistake, those afflicted with work addiction are likely to suffer personal consequences related to physical health, emotional and psychological well-being, interpersonal relationships, and, ironically, work-related performance.
Treating Work Addiction
Because work addiction is not immediately life-threatening, those afflicted with this specific disorder may benefit from intensive individual therapy and a related support group – inpatient treatment is seldom necessary. However, it is exceedingly common for those afflicted with work addiction to simultaneously suffer from a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. Many work addicts will turn to excessive alcohol consumption in order to relieve psychological stress, or further stifle the uncomfortable emotions they are so desperately attempting to avoid.
Because workaholism and related addictive disorders may also be affected by pre-existing mental health conditions, dual diagnosis treatment often proves to be exceptionally beneficial. For more information on our specific program of work addiction recovery, please feel free to call us at Next Chapter Treatment today.
When to Seek Treatment Work Addiction
It can be very challenging to self-diagnose work addiction. It is relatively easy to make excuses for working excessively (i.e.: “I’m just really busy right now” or “I’m trying to get a promotion”). However, if you identify any of the following symptoms, we strongly urge you to seek help immediately.
- If you are constantly preoccupied with work, including thoughts or discussions about work issues at inappropriate times
- If you are unable to relax while on vacation or while spending time with family and/or friends due to work
- If you develop any health issues due to lack of sleep, exercise and/or proper diet
- If you find yourself losing interest in personal hobbies or other enjoyable activities
- If you feel the need to work even when extremely tired or ill
- If you experience anxiety when you aren’t at work
- If you believe that you are the only one capable of doing your job correctly
- If you set unreasonable or impractically high standards for your own work
- If you any of the above symptoms combine with feelings of worthlessness, impatience, or being rushed
The Next Chapter Approach
Next Chapter takes a highly-personalized approach to treatment for all of our clients, beginning with a thorough psychosocial assessment completed by patient’s therapist and a psychiatric evaluation completed by our medical director. Later in the process we often will include a psychological assessment to aid in the diagnosis of the condition or conditions each client is facing. These initial evaluations are followed up by weekly visits with our medical director and patient’s therapist and supported by our clinical team approach in which each client’s unique needs and treatment are addressed by the entire treatment team. The team meets daily to discuss in detail each of our client’s needs.
Together, our clinical team will prescribe a course of action that may evidence-based treatments practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, EMDR and other Trauma focused modalities. Individualized treatment plans also include therapeutic groups, individual sessions, family work, and 12-Step education groups.