Mental health magazine Anxy takes on Workaholism

by Grace Wang in October 2017
Art & designMental health

Back in May, Stack subscribers received a brand new magazine called Anxy, which looks at our “inner worlds” and mental health. Their theme of ‘Anger’ resonated with many of our readers, and now they’re returning for a much anticipated second issue, this time tackling ‘Workaholism’.

With the team currently running a Kickstarter campaign, we spoke to founder Indhira Rojas and editor-in-chief Bobbie Johnson, and asked them to talk about some of the features in the new issue that unpack what workaholism really means.

When most people think of workaholism, they think about pulling long hours. And that’s certainly an aspect of what we look at in Anxy No. 2. Zoneil Maharaj, who lives and works in Las Vegas, wrote a great story on the different kinds of overwork that happen inside a 24/7 culture like that — with some wonderful photography from Krystal Ramirez to back it up.


The other big thing people associate with workaholism is burnout. We tackle that from a few different perspectives, but we got really interested in the idea of jobs that won’t quit you — because your identity and your work are wrapped up together. So we’ve got a roundtable of activists discussing the difficulty of that, and an essay from Kübra Gümüsay, a hijab-wearing German journalist who couldn’t step away from her work as the far right was gaining sway across Europe, until a family member forced her to re-evaluate her work.


Really, though, true workaholism is an addiction; a compulsion that you use to cope with life, and that has a negative impact on you and the people around you. There are those who just cannot stop themselves; whether or not they’re actually successful. So, we have a raw and honest essay from the writer Darlena Cunha on her own battle with work and self-worth; and there’s an interview with the comedian Neal Brennan — if you haven’t seen his amazing Netflix special 3 Mics, then go and watch it right now — who has suddenly found this deep seam of success that’s helping him deal with, or at least understand, his own depression.


Of course, not everyone’s lucky enough to have agency in the work choices they make — sometimes you’re working because you don’t have any options. Abby Seiff and Pragati Shah did a fantastic series of interviews with Nepalese migrant workers that gives you a real, heartbreaking sense of the decisions people make in the name of economic opportunity.


It’s ironic, really, that we’re working so hard to make a magazine that’s about working too hard. But underneath it all, these kind of stories are exactly what Anxy’s about: if we can get you inside the mind and the struggles of somebody else, then perhaps you can look at your own inner turmoil — guilt, fear, anxiety, whatever — in a different way.

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