Addiction and the Entrepreneur

Dealing with addictions in the workplace

Addiction and the Entrepreneur

Addiction in the Entrepreneur Sphere | How to Know If You Have a Problem

By April Meyers

Addiction is not your typical disorder. The symptoms grow over time and can masquerade easily behind various excuses. But it can’t hide forever, and eventually, it will rear its head. If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to run your business, it’s time to take a hard look at your lifestyle. To help you determine whether you have a problem, Self Renewal shares the following information.

What Is Addiction?

Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. One person may find they have an addiction to a substance and others may find themselves engaging in an activity so frequently that it becomes an addiction. However, engaging in an activity and experiencing positive emotions because of it does not mean we are addicted. It’s when the behavior begins to negatively impact one’s life, or one does not experience enjoyment outside of the behavior, or cannot control impulses to indulge in the behavior, that one suffers from addiction.

If you think of the behavior uncontrollably, and if it has negatively impacted your life in some way, you have an addiction. You may find yourself lying about this behavior, justifying its continuation, or doing things that are otherwise outside of your personal character to be able to continue it.

What Are the Symptoms?

One can engage in risky behaviors, such as illegal substances, without suffering an addiction. Often, however, these behaviors go hand in hand with addiction itself. To receive aid for treatment, it helps to obtain a formal diagnosis from a professional.

But how do you know if you need to get help in the first place? The first step is knowing the symptoms. Are there adverse reactions to engaging in this behavior? Do you continue to engage in the behavior, knowing these consequences exist? Do you avoid social situations in favor of engaging in the behavior? Are you secretive about the behavior and do you have some kind of withdrawal when you don’t engage? If you can’t stop, even if you want to, and you need more and more of your behavior, you have an addiction.

Admit Your Problem

One of the biggest causes of addiction is stress. Stress can drive us to find unhealthy ways of coping. The workplace is usually life’s main source of stress.

Studies suggest the workplace can trigger addiction, especially in the form of drugs and alcohol. It’s easy to feel that having a drink after work can help you relax, but this is a slippery slope to substance abuse if it becomes habitual. Even if you have no immediate and overt negative effects, addiction causes long-term harm to the body, and our lives. Losing your job may quickly become the least of your worries if you allow addiction to continue and unchecked. The first step to healing is to admit that you have a problem.

When to Get Help

If you cannot help but think of your behavior, or if you are beginning to let work slip because of it, it is time to get help. See if you can scale back your stress at work to start, as that can help with addiction, but you may need professional treatment. This can be tricky, however, if you’re running a small business. Ideally, you should appoint a staff member you can entrust to handle specific types of work to keep your business running. You can also take care of different services to help lighten the load. For example, an online formation service can help you quickly incorporate your business before you start treatment, giving you peace of mind about protecting your business.

It’s good to keep in mind that a reduction in stress can be transformative during treatment, so try to limit working where possible. This way, you can fully commit to your recovery and re-establishing a healthy lifestyle. If you must work, be sure to avail yourself of stress reduction strategies, such as exercise and more sleep. This can help you as you work through difficult emotions.

Remember, addiction doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s a disorder that affects your brain chemistry, and you may have a genetic predisposition to it. However, finding a path to recovery is always necessary. It’s simply a matter of deciding what form of recovery works best for your lifestyle.

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April Meyers, from, is working on becoming a certified yoga instructor.

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