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Published: 3 week

How do we know that the amount of work we do is no longer healthy?

\"If we forget how to recharge. We forget that the evening is not the time to take work home and continue at home, but to relax. If we work on weekends too...\" - these are all signs of workaholism, says István Garai, mental health professional, workaholic, one of the organisers of the Workaholics Anonymous (WA) self-help group. Telex journalist reported on one of the meetings of the group, which has been operating for ten years.

Hogyan segíthet az Anonim Munkaholisták csoportja?-

The self-help group of Munkaholists Anonymous, which has been operating for ten years, holds weekly meetings where the rule is that you should not criticise each other or give advice. Even if the participants know well what the other is going through. \"The members of the group are also multi-diploma people, yet they find it difficult to find a balance. They don't know when to stop," says Istvan Garai, one of the organisers of the Workaholics Anonymous (WA) self-help group, Telex. He says overwork has always been a problem at home and abroad, it's just not as well known as it is today.

The Hungarian WA, which is independent of politics and religion, was founded ten years ago on the model of the US, where work-addiction services have existed since the 1980s. The Hungarian Workaholics Anonymous also organises weekly meetings in person and online, so Hungarians living abroad, such as in England and Vienna, who feel they have problems with their relationship to work can join the group.

The meetings do not have an appointed leader; as part of the therapeutic method, members go through the 12 steps to recovery. At WA meetings, each session begins with a reading from WA literature, which helps attendees to tune in to the session. This is followed by venting together. Common \"symptoms\" that emerged during the session included not knowing how to say no, killer perfectionism, the constant stomach cramp of work that can't be left undone even by illness, and perpetual dissatisfaction.

According to István Garai, work addiction is a behavioural addiction, and often it is the symptoms that are treated rather than the root causes. He says the best way to detect work addiction is through burnout. And not only can it be very mentally taxing, but overwork can also have serious physical symptoms, such as disrupted biorhythms, sleeplessness, constant anxiety.

The meeting also looked at what might be a way out of this illness. One participant said that learning to stand up for herself at work and to push boundaries has helped her. According to Gábor Gyomlai, in addition to the various therapies and self-help groups that can help, it is also important to consciously separate work and private life. "Work and private life should be mixed as little as possible, which is made difficult by jobs that expect you to check your emails, be available even after working hours or during your holidays," says the expert, who says it is important to take the feedback of friends and relatives seriously, as well as the importance of self-care.


photo by freepik

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