Recovering alcoholics, addicts and co-dependents often switch the witch for the bitch. That is they replace one addiction with another – in this case workaholism. There can be many reasons for this to occur.
With workaholism it may start as a sense of guilt of wasting money or time on the first addiction and work is seen as an acceptable and justifiable behaviour. Or a workaholic may work to escape troubling emotions. A person in recovery usually has extra time on hand and its easy to work in this free time.
The Bergen Work Addiction Scale uses seven basic criteria to identify work addiction, where all items are scored on the following scale: (1) Never, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Always:
How do you score on this simple questionnaire?
- You think of how you can free up more time to work;
- You spend much more time working than initially intended;
- You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression;
- You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them;
- You become stressed if you are prohibited from working;
- You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work;
- You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
Andreassen’s study shows that scoring of “often” or “always” on at least four of the seven items may suggest that you are a workaholic.
The 12 Steps to recovery can also be applied to workaholism. See; Workaholics Anonymous