Recognising the symptoms of ergophobia or fear of work

In our society, work is seen as a social asset, a factor of stability and balance. If you are an ergophobe, you may be one of those for whom work is a source of great anxiety. You try to go to work every morning with a feeling of dread, but you do it to be like everyone else and not to be perceived badly by those around you. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of ergophobia.

Fear of work is considered a phobic anxiety disorder

Your reluctance to work is such that it is almost impossible to hide it from your office colleagues. So the occurrence of panic attacks and the aggravation of ergophobia symptoms are not so common. You are perfectly capable of carrying out the tasks assigned to you, but at the same time you feel a certain amount of anxiety when you do them.

Anxiety is triggered exclusively or mainly by specific situations that are not apparently dangerous. If you suffer from ergophobia, your fears are, for example, related to arriving late for work, making mistakes, feeling a form of hierarchical pressure, not feeling up to the demands made of you… You then put in place numerous strategies that enable you to avoid these situations because they could put you in difficulty. Your concerns may be centred on individual symptoms: increased heart rate, heavy sweating, nausea, dizziness, weakness, trembling limbs, hot flushes, fear of losing control, etc. These symptoms often lead to a loss of control. These symptoms often lead to a fear of dying, losing control or going mad. It is typically when a task or situation seems complicated and embarrassing that you are likely to trigger all the symptoms of the phobia.

Do you suffer from ergophobia, the fear of work?

This excessive anxiety about the work situations you fear forces you to develop a number of avoidance behaviours that gradually impair your quality of life and well-being.

Test your level of anxiety about work.

Ergophobia puts a strain on your professional and extra-professional life!

If you think you are affected by ergophobia and you are looking for a job, then it must be very complicated to canvass, to send your CV to different organisations and especially to go to interviews when you get them. On the one hand, the assessment situation tends to make you feel very anxious, but you probably also have a deep conviction that you will never be taken for the job you are applying for. Your confidence and self-esteem can be permanently damaged, which affects your mood and can even cause depression.

If you are employed, you feel constantly unwell in the workplace and every task you are assigned causes a surge of anxiety that is very difficult to contain. As a result, you are absent as much as you can. When you are at work, you avoid as much as possible contact with your colleagues and your hierarchy, which you perceive as real threats. Holidays are a real breath of fresh air without which you would not be able to continue. However, even away from home, your anxiety about returning to work does not diminish.

This is a good illustration of the fact that work phobia does not stop at the office door. On the contrary, it gradually becomes a real mental burden that ends up being the basis of the organisation of your life. Indeed, very quickly you can no longer bear the idea of being in places where you might bump into your colleagues. It is also difficult for you to go to social places to meet strangers or even acquaintances who might ask you questions about your work. 

Treating fear of work at the first signs of anxiety

Other characteristic signs of anxiety disorders may occur. These include sleep and appetite disturbances, panic attacks, irritability and even depression. Symptoms of ergophobia can occur at any time of the day, whether in the evening at bedtime in the form of ruminations, in the morning when waking up as a lump in the stomach, or directly at the workplace.

Therefore, if ergophobia is left unattended, it can have short and long-term health consequences. Apart from panic attacks, other important psyche disorders can be the cause of sleep disorders, recurring stomach pains or psychosomatic disorders, chronic fatigue and burn-out. Do not hesitate to consult a health professional. At present, such disorders can be effectively treated. Don’t wait until financial and relationship problems arise to consider psychotherapy. Health professionals can help you to avoid the consequences of panic fear and to find new solutions adapted to your needs very quickly.


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