Over 30% of workaholics in the study met the criteria for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The research paper suggests this could be because people with ADHD may take on projects and tasks impulsively, resulting in more work than can be done in normal working hours.
About a quarter of the workaholics surveyed met the criteria for OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), an anxiety-related condition where sufferers experience unwelcome obsessional thoughts, which are then followed by repetitive compulsions or urges.
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Anxiety disorders involve excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday problems for at least six months. This could involve worrying excessively about finances, health, employment or relationships. People with anxiety find it difficult to calm their nerves even though they realize their worries may be exaggerated.
Depression is another very common mental health problem, with an estimated 350 million people worldwide suffering from the disorder. In the study 8.9% of workaholics met depression criteria compared to just 2.6% of non-workaholics.
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Symptoms of depression can include a low mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, poor sleep and reduced energy. During severe episodes it's very unlikely the sufferer will be able to continue with work or socializing. At its worst depression can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
How work addiction links to ADHD, OCD, anxiety and depression