Overcommitment (OC) or an excessive willingness to exert energy describes a tendency to overexert oneself without regard for one’s own resources. In a series of studies, we examined the psychobiological correlatives in excessive willingness to exert energy. Both mentally induced and pharmacologically provoked stress indicated that stress hormones react differently to stimulation depending on the degree of OC. We also found that genetic vulnerability may have an effect on the interplay of OC and depressive symptoms.
Wirtz, P.H., Siegrist, J., Schuhmacher, A., Hoefels, S., Maier, W., Domes, G., Schwab, S., Zobel, A.W. (2013). The association between overcommitment to work and depression is moderated by the polymorphic region of the 5-HTT gene. Psychiatry Res 208(2):199-200. [Link]
Wirtz, P.H., Siegrist, J., Schuhmacher, A., Hoefels, S., Maier, W., Zobel, A. (2010). Higher overcommitment to work is associated with higher cortisol but not ACTH responses in the combined dexamethasone/CRH test in apparently healthy men and women. Psychoneuroendocrinology 35(4):536-543). [Link]
Wirtz, P.H., Siegrist, J., Rimmele, U. & Ehlert, U. (2008). Higher overcommitment to work is associated with lower norepinephrine secretion before and after acute psychosocial stress in men. Psychoneuroendocrinology 33: 92-99. [Link]