Addiction A-Z


Workaholism, also called work addiction, is viewed as a disease that may be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Someone who suffers from workaholism compulsively engages in work despite mounting negative consequences.  Those who suffer from workaholism are called workaholics.

Most likely, the term workaholism originated with what would become a 12-step group devoted to overcoming the disease. The 12-step group, Workaholics Anonymous, had its origins in the 1980s when a group of people realized their pathological use of activity was affecting them in much the same way as an alcoholic’s or addict’s use of substances. Workaholics Anonymous was formed in order to help members stop working so compulsively and to help others who suffered from the same disease of workaholism.

When someone is a workaholic, it isn’t likely that they’ll be able to overcome the compulsive behavior on their own. There are two routes for recovery from workaholism, and they work best when used in conjunction with each other. These two routes are professional treatment and 12-step group participation. It should be noted, however, that 12-step groups such as Workaholics Anonymous do not provide treatment. These are self-help support groups where members join together to help themselves and each other in their recovery from workaholism. Professional treatment for workaholism may be through one-on-one counseling, through intensive inpatient or residential treatment or through outpatient treatment for work addiction. A treatment program is created for the individual based on a thorough evaluation of the patient’s needs.

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