Even as the precise outlines of workaholism remain a bit fuzzy, various studies have tried to identify its physical and emotional effects. At the risk of carrying on like a Pfizer ad: research has associated it with sleep problems, weight gain, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression . That’s to say nothing of its toll on family members. Perhaps unsurprisingly, spouses of workaholics tend to report unhappiness with their marriages . Having a workaholic parent is hardly better. A study of college undergraduates found that children of workaholics scored 72 percent higher on measures of depression than children of alcoholics. They also exhibited more-severe levels of “parentification”—a term family therapists use for sons and daughters who, as the paper put it, “are parents to their own parents and sacrifice their own needs … to accommodate and care for the emotional needs and pursuits of parents or another family member” .I'm definitely not going to claim to be a workaholic. Personally, I think I'm generally only good for about 5 or 6 hours of solid office-type work a day, with 8 or 9 hours on a really good (or crazily busy) day and 2 or 3 on a really bad one. It would be nice if I could structure my days as George Soros suggests, only working the days or hours when you are really going to get something done. Now my sister, on the other hand....
How many people are true workaholics? One recent estimate suggests that about 10 percent of U.S. adults might qualify ; the proportion is as high as 23 percent among lawyers, doctors, and psychologists . Still more people may be inclined to call themselves workaholics, whether or not they actually are: in 1998, 27 percent of Canadians told the country’s General Social Survey that they were workaholics, including 38 percent of those with incomes over $80,000 . (Even among those with no income, 22 percent called themselves workaholics! Presumably some were busy homemakers and students.)
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Are Workaholics Mentally Ill?
I'd say yes. Jordan Weismann looks at studies of workaholics: