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The Hidden Link Between Workaholism And Mental Health

Do you also work a lot and are wondering whether it can cause mental health problems or not? Do you also find yourself so busy in your work that you are even neglecting basic self-care needs like sleep or food? If these conditions sound familiar, you may be a workaholic.

There is a notable link between workaholism and mental health conditions. It can expose you to several mental health conditions like Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, or depression. It also has a huge relation with Adhd. 

Here, we will understand workaholism and its link with mental health conditions in detail. We will also learn about its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Moreover, we have also shared precautions to keep you safe from such conditions. Let’s start by understanding the relationship between these two disorders. 

Understanding The Relation Between Workaholism And Mental Health

There’s a link between workaholism and mental health conditions, and it has been proven with much research. Overthinking about your work or working so much that it starts affecting your other activities may lead you to psychological problems. Workaholics have a higher risk of suffering from mental health problems as compared to other people.

Research on 16000 working people was conducted to understand this relation. 8% of them were referred to as workaholics. Among those people, 34% had anxiety symptoms, 33% had ADHD, 25% had OCD, and 9% were suffering from depression.    

Adhd And Workaholism

Adhd is often associated with workaholism. It is because people who have Adhd have specific problems which may lead them to work more. Here are some of those factors that make Adhd patients related to this condition. 

  • Environmental factors: Adhd patients find working in noisy places or constant interruptions difficult. It can also lead to extra work. 
  • As compensation, Adhd patients may be slow in their working. To produce equal results, they may work for long hours. It can also make them a workaholic.
  • To achieve perfection, Adhd also makes you more self-critical, and constant work to remove mistakes and achieve perfection can also lead you to this state. 
  • As a stress relief, Stress is very common with people suffering from Adhd. They may use their work as a way to get away from Stress. 
  • Hyper-focus: Hyper-focus is also a symptom of Adhd. People suffering from it might get hyper-focused on their work and qualify for this condition.
  • Impulsivity: Impulsivity can also lead to workaholism. It is because people who have Adhd might say yes to a lot of challenges and then stay busy all the time to complete them.  

Causes And Risk Factors Of Workaholism

Workaholism may be due to several factors. These are the causes or risk factors of workaholism. It usually happens due to the combination of multiple factors.

Personality Traits

Certain personality traits can also lead you to being a workaholic. These may include perfectionism, intense drive for achievement, and high levels of conscientiousness. These traits are due to the desire for success. It often results in working more and disturbing your healthy work-life balance.

Environmental Factors

Workaholism can also be due to several environmental factors. These factors include high-pressure workplaces, tight deadlines, and a long working hours culture. Some notable environmental factors are Always available and trying to increase productivity. 

Certain Beliefs

Certain beliefs and work attitudes can also make you a workaholic. Some people have beliefs like self-worth as professional success and relaxation as laziness. These beliefs often make you overcommit to work, even if it’s affecting their well-being and relationships.


Being extremely competitive can also contribute to workaholism. Some people seek validation through their work and fear being criticized due to work. It can also make them overwork and affect their overall health.


If these symptoms sound familiar, then you are qualified for the “Workaholic” criteria. And if you are a workaholic, you are at risk of mental health problems. 

  • Excessive overtime without breaks.
  • Neglecting health
  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Using work to avoid problems.
  • Inability to delegate
  • Work-related guilt
  • Deteriorating work-life balance
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Never feeling done.
  • Strained relationships 
  • Obsession with work
  • Perfectionism
  • Lack of boundaries like being always available.
  • Reduced productivity
  • Ignoring hobbies

Ways To Combat Mental Health Problems Due To Workaholism

Following are the treatments to help you get rid of mental health conditions and workaholism. Consult with your doctor to find out which will be the most suitable and effective treatment for you. 

  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT); CBT is one of the most prescribed therapies for behavioral problems. It can help in changing your mentality with different techniques.  
  • Inpatient Programs: Inpatient programs are also effective in this case. These provide the highest level of care, and therapeutic activities can help you in the treatment of mental problems and your addiction to work.   
  • Outpatient Programs: Outpatient programs are also effective if you can’t join inpatient programs. These are non-residential programs; you can treat yourself without living at the facility. 
  • Workaholics Anonymous: Workaholics Anonymous meetings can also prove to help you in getting rid of this addiction. This 12-step program was founded in 1983 and has been very effective for workaholics. 
  • Medications: There are no particular medicines for treating workaholics. It may cause certain conditions which can be treated with some medicines. Use medications only upon prescription by an expert doctor. 

Precautions To Avoid Workaholism

These are the necessary precautions to keep you safe from being a workaholic in the first place. Read and follow these to stay far from all kinds of problems. 

  • First, set the timing for work hours and strictly follow them.
  • The next one is excellent self-care. It includes regular breaks, meals, exercise, and relaxation.
  • Always set realistic goals.
  • Trust your colleagues and subordinates and divide tasks.
  • Follow a balanced work and leisure routine.
  • Adopt productive habits.
  • Make a workspace to separate professional and personal life.
  • Plan and take regular vacations. You may go on trips with family or friends to freshen up your mind during these vacations.
  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques to stay Stress-free.
  • Keep yourself socially engaged.
  • Limit working overtime.
  • Follow your hobbies and interests for your enjoyment.
  • Continuously assess and reassess your workload to prevent burnout. 

Final Words

Hopefully, now you would have understood the link between workaholism and mental health. Workaholics have higher chances of suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. People with Attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (Adhd) can be workaholics due to some traits in them.

You should maintain a healthy balance between work and life. If you notice any symptoms, seek medical help because mental health is a serious issue. Follow the necessary precautions if you risk getting infected by this condition.


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