The days of the regular 9 to 5 workday, 40-hour week and relaxing vacations have all but gone by the wayside. Today, they have more often than not been replaced by workdays with no set timeframe, a workweek consisting of up to 60 hours or more and vacations that are for the most part nonexistent. With such extreme changes in modern work habits, things such as relationships, health and lifestyles suffer. Sadly, this disorder is not new to researchers nor is it as small as a problem as most people think it is. People that worked harder and longer than needed were considered ideal employees in the past. Today, companies are implementing mandatory time-off as to battle the addiction to work. Researchers have discovered that not only is there one type of workaholic but there are in fact four different types of workaholics, which consist of the bulimic workaholic, the relentless workaholic, the attention-deficit workaholic and finally the savoring workaholic. With so many differences in workaholism, how exactly is it defined, where does it start and how exactly do we deal with it effectively?
To begin, workaholism can be described as an addiction to work, a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is characterized by perfectionism, inflexibility and preoccupation of work. Many people seem to confuse this type of addiction as someone who has to put in hard work and/or put in long hours. For example, a farmer who rises in the early morning hours to tend to his livestock and does not return home until after plowing the fields is considered as someone who has to log long hours to make a living. In contrast, people such as a lawyer, can be described as a workaholic. Lawyers tend to work long hours on cases that do not require such grueling work. Not to say that lawyers do not have certain cases that require such hours, but that they tend to put in hours that are not needed on such cases as traffic violations. Some people may think this type of disorder is mostly exhibited by those with jobs, but it has been found that even those with no jobs also suffer from such an affliction.
According to many researchers studying today’s work epidemic, it has been estimated that the majority of people with this problem have come from such situations as dysfunctional families and alcoholic parent(s). The cause for this stems from not being able to control situations that were not controllable. Work addiction is considered an attempt to control a situation in which they cannot control. Other researchers have found that the sudden increase of workaholism is stemmed from recent economic pressures. People think that by working harder and logging longer hours is a viable way of keeping a job in such harsh economic times.
During a recent study by Saul Robinson, a psychotherapist and...