Crypto addiction is not much different from gambling addiction.
Go through the checklist and see if you might be a candidate for crypto counseling.
Seek help, but choose the professionals wisely!
YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – Cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, has been around enough to provoke growing adoption and a passion that can turn into crypto addiction, sometimes bordering on obsession. So is crypto counseling the solution?
In reality, complex problems require complex solutions, so here is an attempt to dismantle the problem and get closer to the root cause. Read on to find a handy checklist and evaluate whether you or someone close to you might have a crypto addiction.
It doesn’t take much to notice that Bitcoin is not addictive to everyone.
Hundreds of thousands of traders out there maintain their composure and mental stability even when crypto prices do somersaults daily. However, a small percentage of crypto enthusiasts take their love for Bitcoin way too far.
In detail, the highly volatile crypto market requires constant vigilance and flexibility from traders, which drives some researchers to equate the process to gambling. Why is Bitcoin so addictive? Well, the simple answer would be the following: many interpret the crypto sector as an easy way to make loads of money quickly.
However, that is not the case. The crypto sector is big, and traders require extensive research and knowledge to succeed. So, while a stable psyche would take that reality as a given, an unstable one could develop a crypto addiction when delusional expectations meet a certain lack of skill.
Bitcoin addiction is much like gambling
Jemima Kelly, a Financial Times contributor, agreed with the outlook. She claimed that crypto traders are often oblivious to what they’re betting on, which could be the main difference between crypto addiction and pathological gambling.
“The get-rich-quick promises, the gamified trading platforms, and the sheer unpredictability of the markets” lours some traders in, she says.
Those traders might claim that crypto trading is more akin to ‘classic’ stock trading. And that seeming parallel might give unskilled traders the illusion of consistency. Instead, however, the violent volatility often pushes crypto trading into gambling.
Lia Nower, director at the Centre for Gambling Studies at Rutgers School of Social Work, agreed.
They are making money off desperate people. […] Whether you’re ‘addicted’ to trading crypto, betting on sports, or playing the lottery, your symptoms and treatment will be largely the same.
There are over 21,000 crypto assets on the market, and catching the ‘new big thing’ at an early stage might cost people their life savings or earn them millions.
Notably, a potential crypto addiction patient does not even have to gamble outright to be considered a good candidate for counseling. So, the question arises, what sets an addict aside from an average trader?
What are the signs of cryptocurrency addiction?
The Mayo Clinic defines the parameters of gambling addiction as “willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.” While the clinic has not yet defined a different cryptocurrency addiction, pathological crypto traders exhibit many behaviors attributed to addictive gambling.
Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets that lead to losses, use up savings and create debt.
Here is a checklist from Kindbridge Behavioral Health Center. It is handy for evaluating whether you truly have a crypto addiction or need an alternative approach to your financial and emotional well-being.
Do you take increased trading risks with minimal or no research?
Do you find yourself making bigger investments to receive the same adrenaline rush?
Would you say you are becoming obsessed with planning, researching, and trading cryptocurrencies?
Do you constantly check prices regardless of the time of the day?
Do you trade compulsively, and if not, do you experience strong urges to do so?
Do you make unsuccessful attempts to slow down or stop cryptocurrency trading?
Have you ever neglected all other social or leisure activities to engage in trading?
Do you often feel stressed, anxious, irritable, and angry when unable to trade?
Do you lie or hide trading or trading-related activities from friends, family, and colleagues?
Have you ever stolen, borrowed money, taken out loans, sold assets, run up credit card debts, or used funds allocated for household bills to pay for cryptocurrency activities?
Do you continue to trade despite negative consequences to relationships, financial well-being, physical and mental health, job security, and other important aspects of life?
If you or someone close to you can answer YES to a considerable portion of these questions, an issue has to be addressed. In that case, there are important steps you should take to solve the problem, and crypto counseling is not the last on the list.
As mentioned, it takes specific personality traits to transition from a crypto trader to a crypto addict. Much like not every social drinker is an alcoholic, and not every recreational ‘pot smoker’ is a drug addict. According to the American Addiction Centers Association, here is the main checklist of an addictive personality.
Related to others who have developed an addiction
Experiencing other mental health disorders
Adventurous and risk-taking
Disconnected and cautious
Obsessive and compulsive
Unable to self-regulate
Take a moment to evaluate yourself and run through the risk factors that could make you more prone to crypto addiction, or other addictions for that matter. Anna Lembke, a psychiatry professor at Stanford University and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, agreed.
She noted that “the treatment for crypto addiction is similar to other addictions.”
It’s a biopsychosocial disease so it requires a biopsychosocial intervention: medications in some cases, individual and group psychotherapy, changing habits and environment, (or) implementing healthier replacement activities.
asserted the professor.
If you ask yourself, ‘how do I stop crypto addiction?’ therapy and a specialist-prescribed 12-step program might be the right solution for you or your loved one. However, crypto counseling might be beneficial before starting therapy or a program tailored to your needs.
Crypto counseling is not dramatically different from general counseling. However, as the segment has grown, so have the institutions claiming they have the solution. As in the case of any mental health professional, CHOOSE YOUR COUNSELOR WISELY.
Plenty of unlicensed therapists claim they have the right recipe for your crypto addiction as long as you pay up. Take the time to research their credentials, experience, and capacity before entrusting your mental health or the well-being of your loved ones.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t gone down the destructive path yet, but feel like you might spiral out of control, there are several things to remember before choosing crypto counseling.
What can you do to help yourself?
In a strange sense, crypto trading united the notion of a lottery with the calculated financial market. Thus, the answer lies in treating crypto trading like any other source of income and leaving the ‘lottery’ part to the lucky stars (or whatever your poison of choice might be).
Separate your motives from your actions. People who treat crypto trading as a cold calculation in a business-like manner are more likely to win consistently (if not win big), sparing their emotional health in the process.
Conversely, people who are willing to invest emotionally are more likely to bet their lives on a single big win, which, statistically speaking, is not likely to happen. By sacrificing their fragile balance, these investors are prone to turning crypto trading into crypto addiction.
Again, statistically speaking, crypto addicts don’t strike as specific individuals with a unique set of triggers. But rather as addicts who have found crypto trading at an ill-advised time in their lives. Stay safe out there. Remember, there’s no shame in seeking help!
What are the signs of cryptocurrency addiction?
The Mayo Clinic defines the parameters of gambling addiction as “willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.”
How do I stop crypto addiction?
Therapy and a specialist-prescribed 12-step program might be the right solution for you or your loved one. However, crypto counseling might be beneficial before starting therapy or a program tailored to your needs.
Why is Bitcoin so addictive?
Well, the simple answer would be the following: many interpret the crypto sector as an easy way to make loads of money quickly. However, that is not the case. The crypto sector is big, and traders require extensive research and knowledge to succeed. So, while a stable psyche would take that reality as a given, an unstable one could develop a crypto addiction when delusional expectations meet a certain lack of skill.
Lilit is a Yerevan-based Markets writer, skilled in 3 languages, and interested in writing about the tech world, trading, art, and science. She also has a background in psychology and marketing, which helps deliver the right message to the target audience.