PTSD Survivors Might Cope With Stress Through Overworking, May Get Addicted
Feb 17, 2017 09:13 AM EST
It's been well documented that a link exists between traumatic experiences and the development of addiction. However, there is no empirical research on the potential link of trauma and overwork or work addiction.
There are some studies that show traumatized individuals who may be inclined to workaholic behaviors. But there is no research on why trauma survivors might turn to work in order to cope with their feelings.
The Atlantic reports that researchers and clinicians do believe that the connection exists. Some actually believe that coping with trauma is at the heart of work addiction.
Workaholics are defined by having at least three of the four characteristics according to researchers. These are the people work to the extent of self neglect, experience little joy out of work, working more than expected and displaying controlling behaviors.
People who suffer Post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) may turn to work to avoid resolving their feeling from the traumatic experience. Bryan Robinson, a psychotherapist explains that people who overwork to cope with their feelings get lost in their work that they forget the emotional pain they went through.
Robinson adds that working to assert control is a way for PTSD victims to channel their vigilance. It's the same phenomenon that occurs when someone is on the edge. Overworking allows victims of PTSD to manage elevated fear levels and make them feel prepared for a potential disaster.
Morover, working with controlling tendencies mean that people who overwork have difficulties in sharing the workload. The difficulty stems from the victim's fear of uncertainty. There's a fear when a task is delegated to someone else, it's not going to get done as well.
Regardless, scholars are still not certain that overworking can be classified as an addiction. The American Psychiatric Association does not list overworking as a mental disorder. But when compared to other coping methods such as drinking and smoking, it certainly is less hazardous.