“Workaholic,” coined by the American psychologist Wayne Oates, reflected the man’s own addiction to work: he wrote 57 books.
Even though he compared workaholism to other addictions, Oates did acknowledge that it’s more respectable than, say, alcoholism.
So the question becomes: Do workaholics really exist? There’s still no medical definition. Look for these signs:
- Workaholics labor not only compulsively but with little satisfaction.
- Research associates workaholism with sleep problems, obesity, anxiety, high blood pressure and depression.
- One in five people with no income call themselves workaholics.
- And yes, this may be “the best-dressed mental health problem.” Educated and affluent people were much more likely than lower-income people to delay retirement. The Japanese even have a word for working yourself to death: karoshi.
— Adapted from “The Work Addiction,” Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic.