Did you know that many stressed-out employees qualify as suffering from mild PTSD? It’s common knowledge that stress isn’t good for you, but in today’s fast-paced corporate world, stress is hard to avoid. It’s simply how most people live. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know so that you don’t become a victim to that insidious affliction that is affecting more and more people in the corporate world: Addiction.
The Dangers of Stress in the Workplace
Stress can be helpful for getting through short-term crises. But when the stress never ends, it takes a toll on the body. Unable to get proper rest, relaxation, nutrition and exercise, people cope by seeking relief in the form of alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. In fact, one study shows that employees who work more than 48 hours each week have an 11 percent higher chance of engaging in risky drinking. That’s only from the stress of working long hours. (And admit it, some of you are working a lot more than 48 hours a week.) Here are just a few of the many factors that make corporate jobs particularly stressful:
- Long hours required
- High stakes situations
- Tight deadlines
- Marketplace competitiveness
- Internal competition
- Interacting with the public
- Highly visible roles/accountability
Any of those sound familiar?
Top 5 Most Stressful Corporate Jobs
It’s not just police officers and airline pilots who have stressful jobs. Below are some of the most stressful careers in corporate America. Is yours one of them?
- Event Coordinators – So many moving parts, so many stakeholders, a million things that have to happen on a precise schedule: It’s no wonder so many in this profession struggle with substance abuse.
- Newspaper Reportersand Broadcasters – Tight deadlines, a highly competitive environment, and the constant pressure to be the best, right now, in public.
- Senior Executives – Millions (or billions) of dollars on the line, hundreds of employees to look out for, the future of the company at stake. At least the pay is good.
- PR Executives – Reputations are on the line and the pressure to deliver is high, but the certainty of being able to deliver is not.
- Telephone Operators – Angry customers calling in to say how angry they are. The joys of being one of those telemarketers everyone hates. Need we say more?
There’s Nothing to See Here
Even if your job isn’t one of the top five most stressful careers, it’s probably a runner-up for the title. You may have been tempted, and possibly given in, to turning to alcohol or prescription medication to ease the pain, or perhaps drugs like Adderall to keep up with the hectic pace. But everyone’s doing that stuff, right? You know what we’re going to say next: “If everyone else is jumping off a cliff, should you?” We all need ways to cope with and recover from stress. But if you’re having to hide what you do to handle stress, that’s a sign that coping is turning into an addiction. If you’ve tried to cut back or stop altogether but haven’t been able to do so on your own, that’s a sign that you need help to overcome this problem.
What to Do If You Might Need Addiction Help
At Reflections Rehab, a drug and alcohol rehab center in Arizona, work stress is a common factor that leads their client base into substance use and, ultimately, addiction. These are smart, high-powered, ambitious individuals who have everything going for them, but need the help of substances to keep all the balls in the air. For these corporate workaholics, the first step to getting the help they need is to release any shame about their situation and instead take control of the circumstances.
You Don’t Have a Problem…
One of the hallmarks of addiction is the belief that one isn’t addicted. “I don’t have a problem,” you say when a family member suggests you’ve been drinking too heavily in response to work stress. “I’ve got it under control.” Even if we accept that the drinking (or drug use) is under control, the reality that you have to use substances to deal with stress at all means that the stress is not under control. If stress were at an acceptable level, you wouldn’t need to turn to substances to get through it. So get creative, get committed, and solve the stress problem. Your body can’t tolerate this kind of abuse for much longer. Take control of the problem before it takes control of you. And if getting professional help makes that easier, go ahead and do it. Why suffer through trying to make these important changes by yourself when there are people who specialize in helping corporate professionals de-stress and take back control from substance use? If going to rehab is part of that process, at least you will be doing it by your choice.And you’ll get to goto a treatment center you select, instead of getting caught and forced to go to a facility someone else (e.g., a judge) chooses. The important thing is to take charge of the situation, enlisting whatever help you require along the way. Because if you solve the problem…then you won’t have a problem.