Is the price of Bitcoin the last thing you look up before you doze off at night and the first thing you check when you wake up in the morning? Do you always keep a CoinMarketCap tab open in your browser? Is it difficult to pay attention to conversations unless the topic is blockchain? I’ve got bad news for you: you might be suffering from a cryptocurrency addiction.
The good thing is there are measures you can take to curb your unhealthy habit of cryptocurrency trading – or so say a group of Scotland-based behavioral therapists.
We spoke with experts from rehab clinic Castle Craig Hospital about the most common symptoms of cryptocurrency addiction – and how you can spot them. For those unfamiliar, Castle Craig is a rehab clinic in Scotland which recently expanded their gambling addiction program to help individuals battle their obsession with trading digital currencies.
So without further ado, here are seven of the most common signs you might be a crypto-addict, as laid out by Castle Craig gambling therapist, Chris Burn:
- Spending a great deal of time on the activity of trading in cryptocurrencies, checking prices and constantly thinking about the activity – so that other occupations such as work, socializing and exercise do not get done.
- Debts and financial problems due to the losses incurred when gambling.
- Lying to friends and family about one’s activities or problems (hiding the amount of time spent online trading, for instance).
- Mood swings, feelings of hopelessness and depression.
- Anxiety, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating and tremors.
- Unrealistic views such as being “lucky,” chasing losses, believing it is your turn to win next time.
- Attempting to control the activity without any success.
Unfortunately, Burns remarks that familiarity with the symptoms might not always be enough to get you on the right track. Indeed, addicts have trouble acknowledging such signs in their own behavioral patterns.
“The person trading may be unaware of these negative effects, especially if they are trading successfully and making profits,” Burns told Hard Fork. “Major consequences such as bankruptcy, loss of reputation and self-respect can happen, sometimes with devastating speed.”
According to the therapist, everyone is prone to developing a cryptocurrency addiction – even those trading for leisure. The problem is further exacerbated by lenient regulations and a low barrier of entry for traders (it often takes a matter of minutes to open an account on exchange desks).
“From our observations, people may begin trading in cryptocurrencies as a leisure activity, very part-time, but become hooked on the activity because of its addictive nature,” Burns explained in an email to Hard Fork. “Unlike regular stock trading, cryptocurrency trading is poorly regulated, often poorly understood but exciting because of the big fluctuations in price that occur.”
Curious to know how to get ahead of this bizarre new addiction? We’ve got you covered.
We will be hosting a TNW Answers session with experts from Castle Craig Hospital this Wednesday (July 4) at 9 AM EDT, where you will have a chance to find out everything you want to know about cryptocurrency addiction. Join the session by dropping your questions here.