You may have found this page because you are concerned about someone's behavior with work. The effects of the workaholic's abnormal preoccupation with work, such as health issues and mood swings, can harm the family. People who are working abnormally can demoralize and devastate everyone around them. An outside fellowship has currently started for families and friends of compulsive workers: Work-Anon. Please visit their website to learn more about their literature and meetings. You might find also help by attending Twelve-Step family programs related to other addictions. An internet search can help you find such programs.
Consider the following questions:
- Do they get more excited about work than about family or anything else?
- Do they take work with them to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
- Do they work more than 40 hours a week?
- Do they turn hobbies into money-making ventures?
- Have their family or friends given up expecting them on time?
- Do they take on extra work because they are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?
- Do they underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
- Do they believe that it is okay to work long hours if they love what they are doing?
- Do they get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
- Are they afraid that if they don't work hard they will lose their job or be a failure?
- Is the future a constant worry for them even when things are going very well?
- Do they do things energetically and competitively including play?
- Do they get irritated when people ask them to stop doing their work in order to do something else?
- Have their long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
- Do they think about their work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
- Do they work or read during meals?
- Do they procrastinate?
- Do they believe that more money will solve the other problems in their life?
(Adapted from The Twenty Questions)
Answering "yes" to several of these questions may indicate a loved one has problems with work and may be a workaholic. Workaholism takes many forms, including work aversion and compulsive worrying and anxiety. He or she is not alone. Since 1989, workaholics have found a solution through W.A. W.A. meetings are held worldwide. You can search for a meeting for yourself or your loved one on the All About Meetings page.
What you can do for yourself:
- Attend Work-Anon meetings for friends and families of workaholics.
- Learn more about the disease of compulsive working through literature such as Workaholism: A Brief Guide and the Twenty Questions.
- Read other Workaholics Anonymous literature.
- Attend an open meeting of Workaholics Anonymous - find open W..A. Meetings here.
- Learn more about recovery from workaholism through literature such as this chapter from the W.A. Book of Recovery: Living With a Workaholic-For Family and Friends.
- Attend meetings of family groups for other Twelve-Step programs.
If you would prefer to receive the introductory literature by mail, email your request for a Family Packet to the World Service Office of Workaholics Anonymous.
To order other literature about workaholism and the WA program, visit the online catalog or call the World Service Office; you can order by phone or request a printed catalog.