A workaholic is a person who is addicted to work. The term generally implies that the person enjoys their work; it can also imply that they simply feel compelled to do it. There is no generally accepted medical definition of such a condition, although some forms of stress, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be work-related. Workaholism is not the same as working hard. Despite logging in an extraordinary amount of hours and sacrificing their health and loved ones for their jobs, workaholics are frequently ineffective employees. There’s less of a social stigma attached to workaholism than to other addictions, symptoms can easily go undiagnosed or unrecognized.
In the Early Stage of work addiction, the worker tends to be constantly busy and tends to take on more than can realistically be done. He or she will put in lots of extra hours (even if not paid for the overtime) and cannot seem to find time to take days off.
In the Middle Stage of workaholism, our addict begins to distant himself from personal relationships. When he is home, he is distracted and emotionally stays at work. At this stage, he may have trouble unwinding enough to get to sleep. He may feel tired all the time. He may tend to see a change in weight (gain or loss).
In the Late Stage of work addiction now tend to find the more serious physical and emotional symptoms like chronic headaches, elevated blood pressure, stomach ulcers and increased risk of stroke.
At psychological level, they experience the symptom of Denial, the first defense of any addictive process -tricky because they may boast about it. As with other psychological addictions, workaholics are often unable to see that they have a problem.
Self-Esteem Problems: they may have over or under inflated perceptions of themselves.
They may be Dishonest by exaggerating achievements and minimizing failures.
Inability to relax, they often run on Hyper-Adrenaline.
Obsessiveness: They are always thinking about work – while in bed, driving, visiting, etc.
Workaholics often suffer Sleep Deprivation which results in impaired brain and cognitive function.
Other less common characteristics include Dishonesty, Self-centeredness, Isolation, Control, Perfectionism, Self-Abuse, Lack of Intimacy, Physical and Psychological Problems, and Spiritual Bankruptcy.
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. Indeed, mental treatment to cure a workaholic can successfully reduce the hours spent on the job, while increasing the person's productivity. As they learn to accept themselves as they are, they experience a new attitude toward work and activity. They can enjoy work more and find ways to work more effectively. When work has its proper place, they can find time to have fun and to nurture their health, relationships, and creativity.