People who are workaholics are also more likely to experience other psychiatric disorders, new research finds.
Workaholism often co-occurs with OCD, ADHD, depression and anxiety.
The conclusions come from a very large study of 16,426 adults in Norway.
Dr Cecilie Schou Andreassen, the study’s first author, said:
“Workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics.
Thus, taking work to the extreme may be a sign of deeper psychological or emotional issues.
Whether this reflects overlapping genetic vulnerabilities, disorders leading to workaholism or, conversely, workaholism causing such disorders, remain uncertain.”
7 signs of workaholism
Rate of these on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always).
- You think of how you can free up more time to work.
- You spend much more time working than initially intended.
- You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness or depression.
- You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
- You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
- You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work.
- You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
Scoring a 4 (often) or 5 (always) on four or more of these statements indicates a workaholic.
Some of the highlights of the findings include:
- 32.7 per cent met ADHD criteria (12.7 per cent among non-workaholics).
- 25.6 per cent OCD criteria (8.7 per cent among non-workaholics).
- 33.8 per cent met anxiety criteria (11.9 per cent among non-workaholics).
- 8.9 per cent met depression criteria (2.6 per cent among non-workaholics).
Dr Andreassen concluded:
“In wait for more research, physicians should not take for granted that a seemingly successful workaholic does not have ADHD-related or other clinical features.
Their considerations affect both the identification and treatment of these disorders.”
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The study was published in the journal PLOS One (Andreassen et al., 2016).