Work Addiction: Is It Really That Bad?
One of the founding principles upon which American society rests is that if you put in a good day’s work, you will lead a good life. Work hard and always give it your best, in other, words. And if that means that you spend hours of overtime at work, well, then you’re going above and beyond to ensure that you are doing your part and should be admired. This is all especially true if you also have a family to support. After all, someone has to keep food your in children’s mouths, right?
If the above sounds familiar, that’s because they are all commonly held and expressed notions that I have heard all too much throughout the course of my life. I’m sure you have, too. Sometimes, in fact, work seems to be one of the only things that almost everyone in this country has in common. Unfortunately, however, working does not always equal great things. It turns out that there is such a thing as working too much, and it’s an issue that can seriously affect your health, your life, and your relationships. A premier divorce attorney in Chicago noted that his firm meets with people daily that have lost touch with their spouse due to the constraints of their work life.
Unlike other addictions like opiate addiction or alcoholism, work addiction can be difficult to detect. It can also be incredibly difficult to treat, especially given the fact that the majority of the population thinks that it shows strength of character and a good work ethic. Pair the extra money you get by working overtime with the copious amounts of public approval, and you can see why many aren’t willing to face the fact that they have a problem. And even if they are willing to consider that something is wrong, what are they going to do? Unfortunately, society today is not one that makes it easy to live even on two salaries, let alone one. And if you’re supporting yourself, you have essentially no option to just simply not work.
What Causes Work Addiction?
Work is often used as something to give our lives a sense of some sort of meaning. We feel fulfilled by our work, in other words, and use it to help us feel accomplished and content with life in general. When we begin to use work as the main part of our motivation in life, we can begin to rely on it to feel good about ourselves. This can quickly spell disaster and easily lead to work addiction.
What Can Be Done to Help?
There is an aspect to our lives that exists to fulfill our emotional wants and needs. Relationships – with our families, with our spouses, with our friends, and with our children – should be the driving force behind our happiness and motivation. Work addiction takes attention away from those connections and can wreak havoc upon relationships of any sort.
Perhaps the best way to treat work addiction is to immerse yourself in more rewarding relationships with the people in your life and determine if there are issues that should be fixed that driving you to work so often. And despite the fact that the United States is the only country where employers are not required by law to provide paid vacation time, take some anyway.
As more and more Americans work harder than ever to support and provide for their family, sometimes spouses seem to lose touch with each other. Being “over worked” or having a work addiction can cause you to lose focus on what really matters.