The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

It is good to be dedicated to your work—you did not go through years of college and/or training to let all of that hard work go to waste. However, there is a whole life that exists outside of work that you need to consider, as well. By learning how the Bergen Work Addiction Scale works, you will know whether or not you have a work addiction and if you need to seek treatment for it.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point One and Two

This scale is rated based on seven criteria with answers being either “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “always.” The first point is thinking you can free up more time to work. Maybe family members have asked to get together with you, but you would rather focus on your projects or keeping your time free in case you get emails from other co-workers or your boss. All of the fun events or family gatherings you would normally go to just are not important to you compared to your career. The second point is when you spend too much time working than you originally intended. You probably meant to finish your work on time so you could be with your loved ones, but you know that you have a project that still needs to be done and you cannot focus on anything else until it’s complete.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point Three and Four

The third point is working in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and depression. Work seems like a good distraction to help you get away from those feelings. While it may work to distract you, it will not make those feelings go away. It will just push you to keep working harder to avoid these feelings. The fourth point is being told to cut down on work, but you do not listen. You are constantly stressing how important your work is and that it cannot be pushed aside for anything. You have probably accused others of not being understanding.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Points Five Through Seven

The fifth point is that if you have been told by someone to stop working, it will just stress you out even more. Your mind is constantly on work and you feel like it is calling you to focus solely on that. It is no different than being addicted to drugs and someone makes you quit cold turkey. You will feel withdrawal symptoms, including a rise in your anxiety levels. A sixth point is that your priorities, exercise, and leisure activities are de-prioritized because work is at the top. You may have used to enjoy your hobbies or having fun, but you feel those activities must be put on hold to continue on with your work. Even something important like exercising is set aside, which can be bad for your health, especially if you have a job that requires long periods of sitting. The seventh and final point is that all of the work you are doing is affecting your health, but you cannot find it in yourself to stop. This is what separates addiction from a fondness of something—an addiction is when something is destroying your health, but you cannot stop despite the negative consequences.

The Problem

We may joke about someone of being a workaholic, but being a true workaholic is a painful tragedy. If you have answered “often” or “always” to at least four of the seven criteria, you have a work addiction. The main difference between being a workaholic and a hard worker is the negative consequences. A workaholic suffers from poor health, feelings of guilt when they are not working, and increased stress levels. Being a workaholic is much more severe than being a hard worker. Hard-working people typically do not deal with the consequences that workaholics have, as they can live a life outside of work. If your work addiction is not addressed, this can harm your personal and financial life. You may appear strong to others in being dedicated to your work, but you are suffering inside.

Boundaries

The first thing you can do is to establish boundaries. If you are a manager, try to make sure everyone works a 40-hour week, including yourself. Worry more about the results than about the duration of your shift. You should also take a digital detox where you are offline from smartphones, tablets, and computers for a certain period of time. You can download apps like Flipd, Space, or Offline to help you lock your device during certain hours of the day.

Self-Care

It will be hard for you to do your work if you are so absorbed in it that you forget to take care of yourself. Remember to bathe yourself, eat at every mealtime, and sleep seven to eight hours a day. You can also try mindfulness when you have a few minutes to yourself by doing breathing exercises or yoga. You can also create or participate in wellness challenges or walking meets to help you exercise.

Vacation

The U.S. Travel Association says that more than half of Americans leave their vacation time unused. Take some time for yourself and unplug. That way, you can return feeling happier and energized. By being in control of your work addiction, you can still keep your career but still have a life outside of the office.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us today at 833-801-LIVE. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Treat Your Partner If They Have Porn Addiction

How to Treat Your Partner If They Have Porn Addiction

Having a partner who is obsessed with porn can cause you to have a low opinion of yourself. It can cause you to have trouble concentrating, have mood swings, anxiety, and feeling hopeless that you will ever be enough for your partner. According to marriage and family therapist Nicole Colby, it is important for you to change the way you feel about yourself as a result of your partner’s porn addiction so that you can change the direction of your thoughts to thinking about your partner getting treatment. 

Effects of Partner’s Addiction to porn

Dating or being married to someone with a porn addiction can have a significant effect on you. You could be feeling betrayed and rejected in that you feel like your husband is cheating on you with pornographic videos or images. You could be blaming yourself for everything in thinking that your partner’s addiction to porn is normal and that you are just being jealous. You could also be thinking there is something wrong with you and that maybe you could make yourself more desirable so that your partner does not feel a need for porn. The truth is that porn addiction is no different than drug addiction in that you cannot blame a particular person for an addiction. Once you admit to yourself that your partner has an addiction, the faster it will be for them to seek help.

You Yourself Cannot Cure It

Do not feel that because you are in a relationship with someone who has a porn addiction that it is up to you to fix it. Especially if you feel like the reason for the addiction is your fault. You could be thinking that you could have been attractive enough that he or she would not feel like they need to subject themselves to porn. Your partner’s addiction to porn is not your fault. It is not about you. Because porn is so available and accessible, it is easy to acquire it in order to find pleasure whenever you need it. This is something that your partner needs to deal with. 

Support Groups

Do not feel like you are the only one who has a partner with an addiction to porn. All of those feelings of isolation, rejection, betrayal, anxiety, and anything else you are feeling, others are feeling the same way too. Groups like S-Anon are a support group for families of those who are struggling with sex addiction. You can achieve the support and connection that you have been longing for. You can also speak to a therapist that is trained in sex addiction and can help you better understand it and tell you what to do about your partner. 

Reach Out

Do not feel afraid to tell someone about what you are feeling. You may be feeling ashamed of your partner which can make you withdraw from your loved ones in fear of them asking you how you and your partner are doing. You do not want to lie to them, so you feel it is best to take yourself out of the picture. You may be feeling lost, scared, and have no idea what to do. That is where your family and friends come in so that you do not have to keep these feelings buried in. Remember that you do not have to reach out if you do not feel ready or comfortable to do so. Just know that there will always be someone around you who can make you feel better. 

Hobbies

It can be hard to help you live your life knowing that your partner is struggling with their porn addiction or is currently in recovery. Being there for your partner may have caused you to withdraw from activities that you were always a part of. Engaging in a hobby can help you stay grounded and give you a good distraction from feeling too dependent on helping your partner. Trust that they are under a great deal of care and that you can engage in a hobby without worrying about them. You can also help your partner engage in a new hobby to distract them away from porn. Depending on your partner’s interest, encourage him or her to join a group to be around others with the same interest.

Talk To Your Partner

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in regards to your partner’s porn addiction is denying it. By not talking about it or treating it like it is a typical thing to do, you are only letting the problem grow worse. Speak to your partner about their behavior and how it does not only affect them but affect you too. Let them know that you know that they are not a bad person, but are exhibiting harmful behaviors that need to change. Help identify what the stem of their addiction is and to stop assuming that it is all about you. 

Once you have an idea of what is causing your partner’s addiction, encourage your partner to speak to a therapist, go to a 12-Step meeting or rehab for sex addiction. Celebrate all of the accomplishments they make such as going through a whole morning without looking at porn. Even accomplishments that may seem very small can help make a world of difference. Once your partner understands how this is affecting you, they will care enough to get themselves help, strengthening your relationship. 

 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Tell If a Coworker Is Abusing Drugs in the Workplace

How to Tell If a Coworker Is Abusing Drugs in the Workplace

It can be hard to know what to do when you can suspect a coworker has a drug problem. You do not want to get that person in trouble but at the same time, their low performance can affect the workplace and drag everyone down if your coworker does not get help. It is important to speak to your coworker about their drug addiction as well as your boss to ensure your coworker gets help as quick as possible.

Signs Your Coworker Has a Drug Problem

Your coworker may not be thinking clearly since their mind and body is more focused on where to get their next fix instead of getting their work done. Your coworker may physically be there, but they are mentally somewhere else which can be bothersome if you're trying to get their attention. Your coworker may be prone to suffering from multiple accidents or injuries since they are not mentally aware. They could hurt themselves or someone else by accident if they are operating heavy machinery or have a job with a lot of responsibility like a police officer, lawyer, teacher, etc. You also may have noticed that your coworker has been missing a lot of shifts lately. They could either be getting high at home or they are too insecure to show up at work in fear that others will know about their drug use by their appearance.

It is also possible that a coworker may have a drug addiction if you notice valuable pieces of property or money from the company has been stolen by your coworker. You may also notice a difference in hygiene in your coworker as well as extreme mood swings. It may be hard for them to follow simple instructions or are taking too long at accomplishing a task that was swift for them before.

Telling Human Resources

Before you speak to Human Resources, be certain that the symptoms you are noticing in your coworker are signs of drug addiction and not simply stress, not getting enough sleep, or feeling sick. If you are certain your coworker is struggling with drug addiction, speak to Human Resources in a non-judgemental way as you are not doing this to get someone in trouble but to help them. If you do not want to speak to your coworker about this, check with Human Resources if your company has a confidential hotline to call or an employee assistance program.

Telling Your Boss

If you are suspicious about your coworker abusing drugs, it is best to speak to your coworker first before reporting to your boss as you could get someone who may not have a drug problem in trouble. On the other hand, if you actually see someone using drugs in the workplace, that is the time to report your co-worker to Human Resources or your boss. If you decide to tell your boss, many companies have Employee Assistance Programs and procedures when it comes to reporting suspected drug addiction. If your coworker’s drug addiction is affecting the safety of others in the workplace, you may need to report that person.

Speaking to Your Coworker

It can be hard to initiate a conversation with your coworker about their drug use as you could be worried they will be angry at you for meddling in their business. If you have a close relationship with your coworker such as having a relationship outside of the office and speak to each other all of the time, your coworker may think you are being genuine for wondering. Just let them know that you are concerned about their health and want you to take care of it now before your boss or Human Resources find out, costing you your job. If you have only spoken to your coworker a few times in the whole time you two have worked together, your coworker may be defensive towards you. Just give your coworker examples about how their poor performance is affecting the company and to do something about it now.

Risk of Job Loss

Your coworker may not want to do anything about their drug addiction in fear that they can get fired if Human Resources or their boss finds out that they entered a rehab facility. The truth is that if an employee decides to enter a drug rehab facility, there are federal laws where you can be protected. The Americans With Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act says that a person cannot get fired from their job for having a drug problem if they decide to enter an addiction treatment program. On the other hand, these laws will not protect your coworker if their drug use is affecting their job performance or is in violation of company policies.

Preparing to Enter Treatment

If your coworker decides to go into treatment, this would be a wise choice as he or she will not be fired if you attempt treatment first. Your coworker should let your boss know what kind of treatment program they will do whether it is inpatient or outpatient to make sure it does not interfere with their schedule. It is best for your coworker to be open and honest with their boss since they will be struggling with withdrawal symptoms in the beginning. By speaking to your coworker about drug treatment options, you could be helping your coworker as well as your company.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.