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Work Addiction

Work addiction is often driven by job success. And it's common in people described as perfectionists.

Work addiction: What is it and how can it be treated?

One addiction that can sometimes be overlooked or even regarded as normal is work addiction.

Whilst a strong work ethic is healthy, work addiction, more commonly referred to as ‘workaholism’, is a dangerous and compulsive need to chase the ‘high’ produced by working, namely the dopamine rush-released by achieving a level of success.

Because of this, working professionals are disproportionally affected.

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Ambition or addiction?

Not to be confused with ambition, addiction to work can often be excused or discarded as such.

Sufferers may be attempting to flee other emotional issues or personal troubles.

Symptoms include:

  • Spending unnecessarily long hours at the office
  • Being obsessed with success at work
  • Having a strong fear of work-related failure
  • Using work as a way to avoid relationships
  • Working as a method of coping
  • Low self-esteem

It is important to emphasise that just because you or a loved one might have been identified by others as a workaholic, this does not necessarily make it so.

The crucial difference between someone with a strong work ethic and someone who is addicted is that the latter cannot manage their preoccupation with working, ultimately relying on it as a substitute for other things.

What treatment options are available to somebody with work addiction?

You may have been described as a 'workaholic' or a 'perfectionist' by colleagues at work, although this doesn't necessarily mean that you are addicted to your jobMuch like drug or alcohol addiction, work addiction can have a devastating impact on a person’s life.

However, it can also be effectively treated using a variety of medically verified techniques.

One popular approach is through rehab programmes.

Offering both inpatient and outpatient treatments, rehab offers a structured and effective road to recovery.

In the UK, the leading rehab for addiction recovery is Castle Craig Hospital.

With three locations across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, they offer outstanding treatment for addictive behaviours, including work addiction.

For more information or to make an enquiry, visit them online.

See more: Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatments

Work addiction can have complex psychological origins

Some workaholics may suffer from OCD or bipolar disorder.

This makes an appointment with mental health expect advisable for those who think they might be suffering from work addiction.

As always, it is important to consult with your GP in any case, as it can be unwise to self-diagnose a complex psychological disorder.


For direct and immediate assistance from a professional, contact Addictions UK.

If you feel that rehab is the right pathway for you or your loved one, contact Castle Craig Hospital to make a free enquiry.

Or for trusted, confidential help. Speak to us. Schedule a call-back.

Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by