Link Suspected Between Workaholics And Mental Illness

Becky Barton

Recent studies indicate that the statistics for mental health disorders among workaholics is higher than the stats for those who find more balance in their life-to-work schedule ratio. According to a report by Fox News Magazine, the illnesses linked to workaholics include anxiety, depression, and OCD, among others.

Cecilie Schou Andreassen, the lead author in this particular study, said that workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than the other participants.

The researchers involved in the study concluded that roughly one in four of their workaholic participants had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, one in three struggled with anxiety and related issues, and roughly 10 percent battled depression. The non-workaholics who deal with similar mental issues were about a quarter of their counterparts' stats.

— Quartz (@qz) June 13, 2016

However, in a report from WECT Channel 6 News, researchers insist that people who are just hard workers should not be lumped in the workaholic category, and the study results don't explore the effects of late nights at the office on mental health. A Liverpool University professor spoke on the subject of the study and the potential links discovered, as well as the meanings behind them.

"Any human behavior can be turned into a disease. It's this tendency to pathologize the usual messy realities of life, of which work is one."
"It is arguable that the term 'workaholism' is misused, and that in the majority of cases, it is only normal working behavior."
"Work [as an] addiction is not well-understood by many people. Some specialists question whether workaholism actually exists as an addiction... Previous research has linked workaholism to compulsive traits and anxiety."
"Many mental health professionals may not know about workaholism or have treatment plans for it. [Therapists can help patients] manage their workaholic tendencies, like developing strategies to help them 'turn off' work while they are at home or deal with poor marital quality and strained relationships with children."
"Another thing workaholics can do to help themselves is to communicate with their supervisor about when they will -- and when they won't -- be available when they are off the clock."

— Glamour (@glamourmag) June 11, 2016

"Taking work to the extreme may be a sign of deeper psychological or emotional issues... Physicians should not take for granted that a seemingly successful workaholic doesn't have these disorders."

[Photo by Sydney O'Meara/Evening Standard/Getty Images]