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Although few people even consider this a problem, the Japanese even have a special word for overworking. They call it “karoshi” which, literally translated, means "death by overwork".

Workaholism could be defined as a type of addiction. It's an illusion which causes associated destructive behaviors. Workaholism is believed to be the cause of 1,000 deaths per year, nearly 5% of Japan’s stroke and heart attack cause deaths in employees younger than 60.

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In the U.S. workaholism is considered a "respectable addiction", but still an addiction, an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It should not be confused with simply working hard or putting in long hours. Although "workaholic" is not an official medical or psychological term, it remains in widespread usage.

Defining a workaholic

Put simply, a workaholic is a person addicted to work. Medicine still doesn’t recognize this as a disease because there is no generally accepted medical definition of such a condition, although some forms of stress and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be work-related. Although the term workaholic usually has a negative connotation, it is sometimes used to express one’s devotion to career in positive terms. It is most often considered negative because it is characterized by a neglect of family and other social relations.

Psychological perspective

As mentioned before, experts agree that workaholism can be considered an addiction. Various discomforts in life cause a person to seek relief from those discomforts. In caseof a workaholic, his primary form of relief is accomplishing something as part of their job. However, all this would be great if only it could last; as the workaholic attends increasingly to getting things done at work, their personal life begins to suffer from lack of attention. As their personal life suffers, it causes more discomfort for the workaholic, which caused the workaholic works even harder, in a vicious circle.

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