Whichever may be the answer, you still lose, because work is work and life is life. Be it any profession, work load cannot persist forever. But the young professionals do not realize that they are becoming workaholics. The love for work should not drain the life out of anyone and chase away the love for life.
The ambitious wants to climb the ladder faster, so he/she chooses to work hard and work more. They think, they are building their careers, climbing the ladder faster than others and becoming the boss’s favourite employee. The passionate professionals fail to see the trap. It’s the race among companies that pushes their professionals to turn into a workaholic. But this rat race requires sacrifices. Careers are being built on the carcasses of personal relations and social life of the individuals, addicted to work. Workaholics are passengers of the sinking ship and they are ignorant about the lifeboats.
A momentary relief from the stress and anxiety of work load is more than welcome. So, having a drink or two can relieve them of distress. It is noteworthy, that things not do limit to just two drinks, it eventually leads to alcoholism sometimes drug abuse, too. Mental-health disorders are very evident among the anxious professionals, like, depression, OCD and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactive disorder).
Among 16,000 Norwagian workers who were surveyed online to study workaholics by a team, led by Cecilie Schou Andreassan of the University of Bergen in Norway, found that 1 out of 4 workers were suffering from OCD and one-third were diagnosed with clinical ADHD. Nearly 34% of alcoholics fell in the criteria of anxiety and 9% were depressed. This also leads to suicidal tendencies and suicides. Number of work-stress related suicides are shooting up.
The lost balance of work life and personal life is the actual recipe for disaster. Isolation from social & personal life and obsession of work, might be a common scene but it is not normal. Isolation, is not the natural human characteristic. We are social animals, but voluntarily going against nature.
When we use the phrase, ‘It’s a short life ’; it falls literally true for the workaholics. The sudden deaths of young workers due to major strokes and heart attacks are nothing new. Japan has been going through this since 1969. The Japanese call it ‘Karoshi’, which means ‘overwork death’.
Irony of this condition is that the workaholics never realize that they need help. Or even if they do, they do not express their need for help under social pressure. Their friends and family can realize that their shooting careers are steadily strangling the life out of them, literally. It’s a slow death for their loved ones too.
The Japanese found a solution for Karoshi by starting a hotline in the year 1988, where most callers were either the wives of the passed away workers or the closest of kin, of the stressed out overworking individuals. The counselling did bring down the number of calls subsequently but the calls still come in.
This was a ray of hope for the Japanese and an example set, for the other countries to follow. The workaholics may not always know that they need help or might hesitate to ask for help; it is the responsibility of the organization to identify the stressed workers and help them. To dissolve the high tension environment, motivational interviews can help. Reducing the anxiety among the workforce of any organization is vital at this moment.
With the help of professional consultants and therapists, a positive change of behavior among the workaholics can be achieved. All work and no play, does make Jack a dull boy.