Tanya Clark, MSOTR/L
Addiction--a maladaptive way of coping--effects an estimated 61% of Americans, preventing the majority from achieving life balance (Sussman, Lisha, &
2011; Workaholics Anonymous World Service Organization, 2005). Ongoing attempts
to satisfy the addiction prevent engagement in other aspects of life, affecting
health and life balance (Helbig & McKay, 2003). Promoting balance can reduce the effects of the addiction
and improve life. Griffiths
Addictions are uncontrollable and prevent activity participation, fulfillment of roles, and maintenance of relationships while causing financial, legal, or emotional problems (Brady, Vodanovich, & Rotunda, 2008; Helbig & McKay, 2003), but actions may be taken to regain balance. Eliminating supports for the addiction, re-allocating time, increasing awareness, creating new routines, substituting challenges related to the addiction with non-addiction challenges, and being goal focused will also help (Brady, Vodanovich, & Rotunda, 2008; Dayton, n. d.; Helbig & McKay, 2003; Matuska, 2010). Twelve-step programs do some of these things, also providing the ability to give up control and a sense of belonging (
Downs, Houghtaling, Wampler, & Shumway, 2009; Thibeault,
2011). In addition, therapy may be used to create new coping strategies and increase
motivation (Stoffel & Moyers, 2004). Combing multiple strategies will
strengthen recovery, allowing greater balance and the ability to experience
life (Brady, Vodanovich, & Rotunda, 2008; , n. d.; Stoffel & Moyers, 2004). Dayton
Addiction is highly prevalent in today's culture, limiting a person's ability to engage in the experiences that allow for life balance. By opposing the addiction through certain interventions, the individual is able to reduce the impact of the addiction so that balance can be achieved. With greater balance will come improved health and wellbeing, motivating further success against the addiction and promoting further life balance.
Brady, B. R., Vodanovich, S. J., & Rotunda, R. (2008). The impact of workaholism on work-family conflict, job satisfaction, and perception of leisure activities. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 11(2), p. 241-263.
Helbig, K. & McKay, E. (2003). An exploration of addictive behaviours from an occupational perspective. Journal of Occupational Science, 10(3), p. 140-145.
Matuska, K. M. (2010). Workaholism, life balance, and well-being: A comparative analysis. Journal of Occupational Science, 17(2), p. 104-111.
Stoffel, V. C. & Moyers, P. A. (2004). An evidence-based and occupational perspective of interventions for persons with substance-use disorders. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58(5), p. 570-586.
Sussman, S., Lisha, N., &
M. (2011). Prevalence of the addictions: A problem of the majority or the
minority? Evaluation of the Health
Professions, 34(1), p. 3-56. Griffiths
Thibeault, R. Fostering healing through occupation: The case of the Canadian inuit. Journal of Occupational Science, 9(3), p. 153-158.
Workaholics Anonymous World Service Organization (2005). Recovery from work addiction through working the twelve steps. Retrieved March 11, 2012 from http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/pdf_files/Recovery_From_Workaholism.pdf