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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Is there a common psychological reason why a person always

Resolved Question:

Is there a common psychological reason why a person always wants to work even to the point where his health or safety is jeopardized? And not only that, but this same person claims he just loves to work, but when you enjoy doing something, you don't get livid when you see others not working like you do. You would think that such people don't know what they are missing, right? Especially if they are people that are not even co-workers or employees of the person that I am talking about.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

Hi, and thank you for requesting my help with your question.

A person who insists on working regardless of the consequences to their stress level, health or how it affects others is usually considered a perfectionist. Perfectionism is not considered a psychology diagnosis in itself, but rather is a symptom of a psychological issue.

Someone who feels the need to be a perfectionist feels that everything has to go the way they decide it needs to go. If it does not, they feel they failed and as a result they feel stressed and may lash out. They feel their value is based on how well they perform and how much they achieve. The issue with this is that nothing is ever good enough. As a result, the person often feels they are a failure, their self esteem suffers and they feel stressed.

Other signs include:

Overemphasis on "should"- I should do this, I must do that.

Fear of making mistakes- a mistake means failure

Unrealistic thinking- success should be easy and if I struggle, then I am a failure

If the person does not realize that they are thinking this way, they can stay in the cycle of working too much, feeling like a failure and working more as a result to try and make themselves feel better.

It would help if the person you are referring to would see that their behavior is harmful, not only to them, but those around them (safety issues as you mentioned is one good example). By gaining insight, they could seek help and find a way to accept themselves as they are. This involves working on their self esteem and why they use their work ethic as a way to measure their own worth. Therapy is a good way to address these issues, if the person is willing.

I hope this helped you,


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