Workaholic woman working overtime


Workaholic addiction and the complex what’s and whys of this condition is an overlooked stressor and threat to good health.

A Workaholic can be described as a person who is work-obsessed and becomes emotionally crippled and addicted to power and control.  They are driven to get approval and to be recognized for their success as they rush from project to project while always fixated on a goal to the detriment of anyone or anything else. In short, it is an addiction to work.

In contrast, a hard worker is a person who is emotionally present and available to family, friends and co-workers.  They set boundaries to maintain a healthy balance between work and their personal life.  They may ramp up their efforts and spend more time working to meet deadlines, but can then back off and restore a balance of time and energy.


Workaholic drivers

Perfectionism, fear and the desire for accolades are drivers of the workaholic personality.  The perfectionism can be an aspect of being a people pleaser. They can’t say no and want desperately to be admired, liked and will do whatever it takes to receive accolades for their accomplishments.  Workaholics project a persona based on how they want to be viewed by others, which represses their true personality.

They are afraid of failure and strive to avoid making any mistakes that will harm this perfectionist persona.  Therefore, they spend their time in obsessive pursuit of getting everything they do just right to avoid criticism of their work or themselves.  Since their work is so enmeshed with their personal identity, any criticism of it is taken personally.

Controlling aspect

Some workaholics crave power and like to be in complete control.  Their personalities may shift to give them the best advantage in any situation.  They can be intense and overbearing or charming, witty and sociable depending on what will give them the best advantage in the given situation.  Because of their unwavering focus on work goals, they lack social interaction skills.  Many have business related acquaintances, but have difficulty maintaining personal friendships.

Narcissistic aspect

The narcissistic workaholic has a tendency to always need to be right and to have things done their way.  There is only their point of view and no one else’s.  Their agenda is the most important regardless of the consequences to the welfare of others and potentially may cross the lines of morality and ethics.



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Stress and other health conditions

The unrelenting efforts workaholics put into their work causes tremendous emotional pressures and stress.  Because they seldom relax, they suffer from chronic stress and a constant flow of adrenaline in their bodies.  This may lead to High Blood Pressure, high cholesterol and can result in strokes and heart attacks.

The constant muscle tension in their shoulders, necks, tightly crossed arms and legs can lead to chronic pain in these areas.  Long hours of sitting and intense computer work can cause back issues.

Other workaholic addiction health conditions include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Poor eating and sleeping patterns
  • Loss of memory and forgetfulness
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression


Questions to ask

To identify if you have a workaholic addiction, answer these questions with a yes, no or maybe.  If you answer yes to at least half of them, or tend towards the maybe on most of them, then you may be a workaholic.

  1. Do you work more hours in a week than you originally planned?
  2. Do you feel moody, guilty, anxious when you are not working?
  3. Do you plan to reduce your work ours with little success?
  4. Does work keep you from sleeping well?
  5. Has work negatively affected your relationships?
  6. Do you not take vacations or sick days in order to do more work?
  7. Are you always in a hurry and race against the clock?
  8. Are you constantly multi-tasking and doing 3 or more things at a time?
  9. Do things never seem to move fast enough or get done fast enough for you?
  10. Do you lose your temper when things don’t go your way?
  11. Do you get angry when other people don’t do things according to your standards of perfection?
  12. Do you get upset when you are in situations that you can’t control?
  13. Is it hard for you to relax when you are not working?
  14. Do you get upset with yourself when you make the smallest mistake?
  15. Do you put more thought, time and energy into your work than you do your relationships with loved ones and friends?


What to do about workaholism

Like all addicts, workaholics are living with emotional struggles that drive their behavior.  Fear of failure is a big one for workaholics.  Losing their corporate position or business can create a great deal of shame and embarrassment.  Therefore, they are willing to do anything to maintain the prestige, power and control they have achieved.

Identifying why they are so obsessed with being successful would be a first step in releasing the stranglehold the work has on them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is it that is so important about being successful?
  • Why do I always have to be right?
  • What would the consequences be if something wasn’t done perfectly?
  • If I wasn’t successful what would happen?
  • How would I feel?
  • What would the consequences be?
  • Who would be affected?
  • Who would I let down or disappoint?
  • Who am I trying to outshine or be better than?

As a Life Wellness Coach, I can help you answer these questions and lead you to an understanding of what life experiences shaped the beliefs that created your workaholic behaviors.  Then we would identify how you can look at those experiences differently and shift the beliefs about them to break the workaholic addiction.

If you would like to create a satisfying life without the destructive side effects of the stress that accompanies the workaholic lifestyle, please contact me at to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation

In wellness,

Christine Hunt, Life Wellness Coach, Hunt for Hope Wellness




Christine Hunt

Life Wellness Coach

Hunt for Hope Wellness



July Special – 50% off!*

*Any new client who schedules their first coaching session in July of 2021 will receive 50% off.

Schedule here!




Understanding the Dynamics of Workaholism | Psychology Today

The Workaholic Breakdown – The Loss of Health | Psychology Today

Are You A Workaholic? Take This Quiz Are You a Workaholic? (

Quiz: Are you a workaholic? –


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Christine Hunt

An experienced Wellness Coach, Certified EFT and Certified Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner, Christine Hunt gets results for her clients that conventional therapies cannot. She takes the whole person approach when working with her clients to help them lose weight, get relief from chronic illness & pain, trauma/PTSD and addictions of all kinds. She has been a Certified Practitioner since 2013 and has done hundreds of sessions helping her clients to uncover and remove the obstacles to their problems with weight, illness, pain, addictions, traumas, relationships, grief/loss and financial security opening doors to their personal fulfillment and happiness. Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed. Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.