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Is work addiction worse for our wellbeing?

Addiction is widespread problem in life today. It causes problems in our private lives and can affect our ability to work. It can even become the addiction itself. A recent study from Norway has shown that addiction to work can even bring about more mental health problems than just the addiction.

Work addiction or ‘Workaholism’ is when we feel compelled to spend our time working and driven by an uncontrollable need to spend more and more time at work. It can cause us to spend less time on leisure and other important parts of our life too.

Workaholism may be something we take lightly, calling someone a workaholic is often something we say in fun but the more workaholism is studied, the more serious it is found. The Norwegian study was one of the largest to be conducted and discovered that workaholism often exists with Anxiety, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The study also identified that managers and self-employed people are most likely to be considered workaholics. In our busy lifestyles, anxiety and depression can be a problem in the workforce, especially for business owners where workaholism involves wanting to make even more time available for work, cutting down on leisure and recreation time to devote more time for work and ignoring being told to cut down the amount of time devoted to work.

The research involved over 16,000 people aged between 16 and 75 years and found that nearly eight percent could meet the criteria for workaholism. Being a workaholic is no fun either, as the study showed that from the work addicts it surveyed, over 30 percent met the criteria for anxiety and ADHD. A quarter also showed for OCD, and nearly 10 percent of them for depression. Whether workaholics were more prone to other mental health conditions or if workaholism caused them is uncertain but interventions to help workaholics were recommended.

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