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Signs that work holds too much importance for you. Here are the symptoms of a workaholic.

When individuals describe themselves as "workaholics," they usually mean that they work hard. Frequently the description is given as a matter of pride. Since our society encourages and rewards workaholic behavior, identifying work addiction is difficult. However, several factors or symptoms help us to distinguish between the hard worker and the workaholic:

  • The workaholic not only works hard but also sets impossibly high standards and is beset by a sense of never being good enough.
  • The workaholic's need to please others is a driving force that prevents him/her from noticing the impact of overworking on his/her own health and well-being.
  • He/She has a strong need to control other people and situations, and he/she finds it difficult to delegate responsibilities. "If I want it done well, I have to do it myself," is a characteristic workaholic belief.

Take our Workaholic Quiz.

Symptoms of Workaholic: A Life Out of Balance

Signs that work holds too much importance for you.  Here are the symptoms of workaholism.The workaholic life is characterized by a striking lack of balance. The workaholic gives himself little time to develop and enjoy personal relationships. Caring for herself is low on her priority list, and health problems are often ignored until they become debilitating.

Moving from task to task, deadline to deadline, the workaholic feels most alive when totally immersed in a project or dashing between several projects. The workaholic may become addicted to the adrenaline rush generated by dealing with a crisis.

The workaholic uses work to escape from difficult feelings and in this process loses awareness of her desires and needs. The family members and friends of the workaholic experience themselves as a lower priority than his/her work, and this experience frequently erodes relationships.

Read information on Work Addiction Treatment.

About the author: Martha Keys Barker, LCSW-C, therapist in the Talitha Life Women's Program at SLI

next: Workaholic Quiz: Am I A Workaholic?
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