A workaholic is someone who is addicted to working. In the most severe stages, a workaholic values her job over everything else in life. When work becomes the top priority over family and friends, workaholism can become destructive. Workaholism destroys families and can lead to serious stress-related health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
There is a distinct difference between a hard worker and a workaholic. A person who simply works hard knows the boundaries between work and personal life. They enjoy leisure time with family and friends and no have no problems functioning outside of their work. A true workaholic cannot function outside of their work and devote no personal time to family or friends. If a person displays signs of being a workaholic, an intervention may be the only thing that can help them.
How an Intervention Works
An intervention is a structured meeting between a workaholic and his or her family members and closes loved ones, as well as a professional interventionist. The goal of an intervention is to help the workaholic come to terms with his or her addiction and to agree to enter a treatment program.
An intervention is usually a two-step process. First, the workaholic’s family and loved ones meet with an interventionist to learn about the intervention process and about the disease of addiction. This precursor to the actual intervention is where each person learns his or her specific role in the intervention and the whole event is carefully planned out. The second step involves meeting with the workaholic. Hopefully, after each family member has had a chance to express his or her love and concern, the workaholic will agree to enter a treatment program. If the intervention is a success, then the interventionist and/or a family member will escort the workaholic to a rehab facility.
The following steps are an example of what each family member might say when addressing a workaholic:
- Letting the workaholic know how much he means to others, and that they are worth saving
- Motivating the workaholic to willingly seek out treatment and to participate in the recovery process
- Willingness to learn about the recovery process so that they can help the workaholic in any way possible
- Willingness to help the workaholic transition back into the family and other social environments after treatment is completed.
Interventions can be a “surprise,” where the addicted individual is unaware that she is walking into an intervention. Interventions can also be invitational. The idea of an invitational intervention is sometimes scoffed at, but it can be surprisingly successful. In an invitational intervention, the addicted individual is asked to take part in the entire process. This can be beneficial in comparison to a surprise intervention because it makes the addicted individual an empowered part of the process. This eliminates the chance of an angry response that is possible with surprise interventions.