More and more in recent times, it has become apparent that there is an ever increasing problem within the architectural community of addiction. Addiction amongst architects is an issue that has been gaining more and more attention recently, and it is an issue which needs to be discussed more openly and honestly if we are to get to the bottom of it and help those who are suffering.
Addiction is an issue that can affect anyone, and is not exclusive to architects. However, what has been found is that architects as a profession have been especially prone to addiction in comparison to other professions and industries. This may have to do with the huge pressures of the profession, such as competing with other firms and continuously updating technology. With the stresses that the profession includes, it is easy to see how the unhealthy coping methods of substance abuse may present themselves.
As is the case with any addiction, the earlier that it is addressed, the better. For this reason, it is important that the architect community has access to information and support that it needs to tackle this problem. The first step for any architect who is struggling with addiction should be to reach out for help, be it from a trusted friend or a professional.
It is important to remember that addictions come in many forms and can range from drug and alcohol abuse, to more readily available addictions such as exercise addiction, gaming addiction, and of course, digital addiction. Digital addiction has become increasingly present in the profession due to the vast reliance on technology that is involved in the day-to-day job of an architect, which can make it difficult to take a break and take care of themselves.
Another factor which can lead to addiction amongst architects is creative burn-out. As the creative sector of the profession is undoubtedly the most important part of an architect’s job, it is absolutely vital that burn-out is managed carefully and that architects make sure to take regular breaks from their work to keep their minds refreshed and healthy. Otherwise, it will inevitably lead to burn-out, which can lead an architect to poor mental health, addiction, and even depression.
Given the diverse and sometimes hectic nature of the job, it is extremely important that architects take good care of themselves. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, adequate hydration, sleep and nutrition are all extremely important in mitigating the issue of addiction.
As with any issue related to mental and physical health, it is important that those who are suffering seek professional help if they feel like they can’t cope. There are numerous organisations, both online and offline, which provide support and information to those who are struggling. It is also wise to remember that a problem shared is a problem halved, and being open and honest about the issue is an invaluable first step in tackling the problem of addiction.
Addiction is an issue that will always present itself as a challenge to any profession or industry, but as architects, it is important that we come together and tackle this in a proactive way. As well as seeking help where appropriate, it is essential that architectural firms and firms alike provide preventative care for their employees to ensure that those struggling with addiction can be provided with the support and resources that they may need.