A recent study showed that workaholics are definitely not doing themselves any favors by burning the midnight oil. Their hectic schedules may in fact set them up for several psychiatric disorders.
Researchers in Norway have looked into the link between workaholism and mental illness. The study involved 16,426 career-holding adults. They all scored much higher on the psychiatric scale for mental problems than their more relaxed cousins.
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At least 32.7% of them showed signs of ADHD. 25.6% were most likely obsessive-compulsives. At least 33.8% were probably more than anxious in their demeanor and outlook. Finally, 8.9% were just plain depressed.
The figures among those who took it easy were markedly lesser than the workaholics. Only 12.7% had ADHD. A mininal 8.7% had OCD. 11.9% showed any symptoms of anxiety.
Last but not least a measly 2.6% were depressed or down in the dumps. Those who work, work and work till they cannot take it anymore are most certainly deeply disturbed.
They probably have psychological or emotional problems that they try to bury with their self-denial. Either the phenomenon is genetic in nature. Or the two components of workaholic behavior and mental illness seem to have a chicken-and-egg relationship with each another.
Things are still uncertain since the research has barely begun in this area. The study was published in a journal. There seem to be a number of deviations linked with high rates of work-addiction.
Neurobiology is at work here. What appears to be a successful person on the surface may actually be a neurotic individual hiding a lot of issues and conflicts in his soul. The symptom of workaholism is just the tip of the iceberg.
There were several criteria that were formulated to differentiate addictive and non-addictive behavior.
Do you think about making time to work incessantly?
Do you work more than you intended to in the first place?
Is work meant to hide feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression and helplessness?
Do others tell you to relax yet you pay them no heed?
Do you become highly stressed when you are not allowed to work?
Is work your only priority in life?
Is work harming your health?
If the answers to all these questions is “yes”, then you probably are a workaholic and need to take some time out for rest and relaxation not to mention some recreation. You would not want to end up in a hospital due to your escalating worries. Some “me time” would be salubrious for your physical and psychological health.
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The findings of this study which is co-authored by researchers from Nottingham Trent University and Yale University, got published in the open-access journal PLOS One.