Busyness and Workaholism
A workaholic is a person who is addicted to work. The term generally implies that the person enjoys their work; it can also imply that they simply feel compelled to do it. There is no generally accepted medical definition of such a condition, although some forms of stress, impulse control disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be work-related.
Workaholism is not the same as working hard. Although the term workaholic usually has a negative connotation, it is sometimes used by people wishing to express their devotion to one’s career in positive terms. The “work” in question is usually associated with a paying job, but it may also refer to independent pursuits such as sports, music and art.
A workaholic in the negative sense is popularly characterized by a neglect of family and other social relations. Similarly, people considered to be workaholics tend to lose track of time — voluntarily or involuntarily. For example, people might proclaim that they will spend a certain amount of time (e.g. 30 minutes) on their work, while those “30 minutes” ultimately become hours.
Experts say the incessant work-related activity masks anxiety, low self-esteem, and intimacy problems. And as with addictions to alcohol, drugs or gambling, a workaholic’s denial and destructive behavior will persist despite feedback from loved ones or danger signs such as deteriorating relationships. Poor health is another warning sign. Because there’s less of a social stigma attached to workaholism than to other addictions, health symptoms can easily go undiagnosed or unrecognized, say researchers.