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Helping a Workaholic/Alcoholic Get Help

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Helping a Workaholic/Alcoholic Get Help

It can be difficult to see a friend or loved one succumb to the disease of alcoholism. When that condition arises from or leads to co-occurring disorders such as work addiction, it can be even more troubling and confusing. In some cases a compulsive behavior such as working causes deep emotional or psychological distress that a person self-medicates with alcohol. Unraveling causes and effects can be frustrating and fruitless for a concerned bystander, but there are some things a person can do to help a workaholic and alcoholic get help.

Understanding Compulsive Working Disorder

Compulsive behavior is a psychological disease. The brain is a complex organ that regulates thousands of human functions through an intricate chemical system. This chemical system can reinforce positive behaviors such as exercise and eating right, but it can also be interrupted by compulsive behaviors such as drinking or overworking. The effect on the brain’s chemistry can lead to addictions that are stronger than rational thought or desire. Compulsive behaviors often lead to difficulties in life. Relationships may become fractured, and physical health may decline. The joy of life is replaced by a constant and stress-fueled adrenaline rush of work. When work becomes compulsive, a number of side effects such as the following may result:

  • Constant stress about unfinished work
  • Decreased proficiency and productivity on the job
  • Ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Depression
  • Strained or broken relationships with spouses, children, and friends
  • Additional addictions as a result of self-medication of these psychological disorders

When a person develops a psychological disorder like compulsive behavior addiction, he or she may attempt to self-medicate through the use of various drugs or alcohol. Alcohol can block the emotional anxiety present in the workaholic and may become a co-occurring addiction as a result. It is common to find that workaholics who have not gotten help eventually succumb to substance abuse and addiction.

How to Help a Workaholic-Alcoholic

Anyone struggling with an addiction needs help to get clean and stay clean. The following steps may help prepare a friend or loved one interested in confronting a workaholic/alcoholic:

  • Learn as much as possible about the psychological addiction faced by your loved one
  • Seek advice and counsel from trained addiction and compulsive behavior experts
  • Develop a calm, loving, and rational plan to confront the friend about his or her compulsive disorder
  • Explore treatment options and prepare a possible path to recovery
  • Speak clearly and succinctly about the effects the workaholic/alcoholic’s disease has on your life
  • Offer to walk through the treatment process with your loved one and assure him or her that you are there to help
  • Along with your counselor develop proper and healthy treatment outcome goals

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