Nav: Home

Workaholism tied to psychiatric disorders

May 25, 2016

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have examined the associations between workaholism and psychiatric disorders among 16,426 working adults.

"Workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics," says researcher and Clinical Psychologist Specialist Cecilie Schou Andreassen, at the Department of Psychosocial Science, at the University of Bergen (UiB), and visiting scholar at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Workaholics score higher on all clinical states

The study showed that workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics. Among workaholics, the main findings were that:
  • 32.7 per cent met ADHD criteria (12.7 per cent among non-workaholics).

  • 25.6 per cent OCD criteria (8.7 per cent among non-workaholics).

  • 33.8 per cent met anxiety criteria (11.9 per cent among non-workaholics).

  • 8.9 per cent met depression criteria (2.6 per cent among non-workaholics).

"Thus, taking work to the extreme may be a sign of deeper psychological or emotional issues. Whether this reflects overlapping genetic vulnerabilities, disorders leading to workaholism or, conversely, workaholism causing such disorders, remain uncertain," says Schou Andreassen.

The pioneering study, published in the open-access journal PLOS One, is co-authored by researchers from Nottingham Trent University and Yale University.

Affects identification of disorders

According to Schou Andreassen, the findings clearly highlight the importance of further investigating neurobiological deviations related to workaholic behaviour.

"In wait for more research, physicians should not take for granted that a seemingly successful workaholic does not have ADHD-related or other clinical features. Their considerations affect both the identification and treatment of these disorders," says Schou Andreassen.

Seven diagnostic criteria for workaholism

The researchers used seven valid criteria when drawing the line between addictive and non-addictive behaviour.

Experiences occurring over the past year are rated from 1 (never) to 5 (always):
  • You think of how you can free up more time to work.

  • You spend much more time working than initially intended.

  • You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness or depression.

  • You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.

  • You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

  • You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work.

  • You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
Scoring 4 (often) or 5 (always) on four or more criteria identify a workaholic.

Accordingly, the Bergen Work Addiction Scale operationalizes workaholism by the same symptoms as traditional addictions: salience, mood modification, conflict, tolerance, withdrawal, relapse and problems.

In line with previous research, 7.8 per cent of the current sample classified as workaholics, which is close to an estimate (8.3 per cent) found in a (and, to date, only) nationally representative study conducted by Dr. Andreassen and colleagues in 2014.
-end-


The University of Bergen

Related Depression Articles:

Tackling depression by changing the way you think
A thought is a thought. It does not reflect reality.
How depression can muddle thinking
Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation.
Neuroimaging categorizes 4 depression subtypes
Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine.
Studies suggest inflammatory cytokines are associated with depression and psychosis, and that anti-cytokine treatment can reduce depression symptoms
Studies presented at this year's International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy, (Oct.
Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?
Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers
Postpartum depression -- a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it -- is indeed serious.
Tropical Depression 1E dissipates
Tropical Depression 1E or TD1E didn't get far from the time it was born to the time it weakened to a remnant low pressure area along the southwestern coast of Mexico.
Diagnosing depression before it starts
MIT researchers have found that brain scans may identify children who are vulnerable to depression, before symptoms appear.
Men actually recommend getting help for depression
Participants in a national survey read a scenario describing someone who had depressed symptoms.
Depression too often reduced to a checklist of symptoms
How can you tell if someone is depressed? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- the 'bible' of psychiatry -- diagnoses depression when patients tick off a certain number of symptoms on the DSM checklist.

Related Depression Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...