There are workaholic people, as you know. Some of them are very fond of working. Some say that they feel as if they enjoy leisure during work. On the other hand, some have too much thought of responsibility. They cannot reduce working time even if they are exhausted. As a result, not a few people break their health. In Japan, “Karoshi” (death due to excessive working) sometimes occurs. This fact estimates the higher likelihood of workaholic people in Japan.
So far, the relationship between workaholism and mental disorders has not been examined in detail. Recently, a cross-sectional study with a large sample size was published. In this study, a total of 16,426 working people participated in this survey. Approximately four-fifths were full-time workers. Most of the participants were employed either in public or private sector, and the majority of them were not in an administering position.
PlosOne: The Relationships between Workaholism and Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders: A Large-Scale Cross-Sectional Study
This study proved that some relationships between psychiatric symptoms measured with self -rating scales and workaholic tendency. In this study, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsiveness, and ADHD tendency were examined, and all of them were suggested to be associated with workaholism. Each of symptoms contributed significantly to the variance in workaholism, even after controlling for socio- demographic factors.
It is likely to be estimated high prevalence rate of workaholism in people with some psychiatric illness. It has been indicated that people with ADHD are often indulged in some particular works. Obsessive people are also likely to stick to work. The present result is consistent with these previous findings.
On the other hand, there are some questions to be examined before reaching a conclusion. In the present study, all of the symptoms examined were found to be correlated to workaholics. The sample population can be biased to the cluster in which many pathological working people were included. As a cross-sectional study, the results have no imprecation about a causal relationship. Thus, it is possible workaholic people tend to be mentally ill, and it is quite predictable. In the adoption of self-rating scale, symptoms can be exaggerated in some occasions.
I wonder that there is a relationship between workaholism and bipolarity, or hypomanic symptoms. In this study, the hypomanic tendency was not examined. It may be due the difficulty of measuring hypomanic symptoms. There is no self-rating scale of hypomania available with certain validity. People at hypomanic state seldom feel as so. I sense the considerable amount of people engaging in the tough working state are at hypomanic state, and they are at risk of bipolar depression. It is valuable if we predict their preclinical stage to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder.