This article will help increase awareness about the emerging problem of crypto addiction. As crypto trading and investing become more widespread, it brings with it similar risks associated with day trading: the development of compulsive behavior leading to an addiction. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and consequences is important, and those of you struggling with addiction need to explore prevention and treatment.
Addiction is not limited to drugs or alcohol. Many individuals struggle with things like gambling addictions, shopping addictions, media addictions, and even crypto addictions.
Addiction to things like day trading is already quite prevalent, with rehab programs exclusively for day trading addiction. This type of activity has an onslaught of highs and lows, opportunities to make money around every corner, and a non-stop system of trading. The same is true of crypto.
For that reason, there has been an uptick in crypto gambling addiction as individuals find themselves pathologically driven to compulsively and obsessively focus on investing or trading with cryptocurrencies despite any negative consequences they might be experiencing.
What Causes Crypto Trading Addiction?
Crypto gambling addiction is the result of structural changes in the brain. When an individual is involved in trading or investing with crypto, every time they successfully make a trade, open a new investment, or see the price of their investment going up, the brain releases dopamine.
Dopamine is part of your brain’s natural reward system. It rewards you for doing good things like eating healthy, having sex, working hard, or exercising. The success gained with crypto trading and investing releases those same feelings of pleasure. Over time individuals might become addicted to that feeling, so they begin to trade crypto compulsively so that they can stimulate that same level of pleasure.
Understanding crypto addiction
Everyone who participates in crypto trading or investing is at a small risk of developing a crypto trading addiction. However, this type of addiction is more common in younger adults, men, people who have competitive or impulsive personality characteristics, and those with a history of mental health disorders or other addictions.
There are three main risk factors that can increase your chances of developing a crypto addiction:
People who engage in crypto investing and trading are all vulnerable to developing a crypto addiction, but individuals with a history of addiction are at a higher risk of developing a problem.
History of Addiction
Individuals who have any history of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other behavioral activities like gambling or day trading face even higher risks of developing a crypto addiction.
Mental Health Disorders
Those who have underlying mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or personality disorders are more likely to struggle with a pathological addiction to cryptocurrency.
Potential Risks of Crypto Addiction
Without treatment for crypto trading addiction, individuals risk hurting themselves financially, professionally, and personally.
Untreated crypto addiction can cause a severe financial strain as more money is invested in trading and trying to achieve that dopamine release. For many, this might mean using riskier strategies that result in financial loss. For others, it might mean using money set aside for bills on trades.
In addition to the financial strain, individuals might forgo personal or professional responsibilities just so they can get another chance to make more trades or investments and hopefully achieve that dopamine release. It’s not uncommon for people to start trading crypto and find that they have spent several more hours than expected sitting in front of their computer.
This can cause serious problems with work performance if you are habitually late or have problems staying focused at work because you’re too busy checking your Investments or making trades.
It can also influence your relationships, making it difficult for you to maintain intimate connections with those around you, causing you to neglect social activities in exchange for trying to make one more investment.
Signs and symptoms of crypto addiction
There are several signs and symptoms of crypto addiction:
- You might want to stop or reduce your crypto activities, but you can’t.
- You are constantly preoccupied, thinking about crypto-related things, even when you are at work or with your family.
- You feel guilty about your actions and hide them or lie about them.
- You need more and more money to feel the same happiness.
- You invest in riskier things, breaking your investment strategies or taking on risk.
- You use crypto activities to escape from the real world.
- You are no longer interested in activities, hobbies, or friends you once enjoyed.
- You struggle with withdrawal, such as irritability or anxiety, when you are not engaged in crypto activities.
- You neglect your personal hygiene.
- You use money meant for bills or other purposes of trading.
Addressing crypto addiction
When addressing a crypto trading addiction, it’s important to utilize prevention and education, find treatment options for those who are showing crypto addiction signs, and create strategies for a healthy relationship with crypto moving forward.
Education and Prevention
Firstly, educating yourself and those around you about crypto gambling addiction and crypto addiction signs is an essential part of interacting with crypto. The more you know about the potential risks, the safer your activities can be when you trade or invest with cryptocurrencies.
Crypto addiction, like any addiction, typically requires professional treatment. Treatment options involve behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one common form of treatment. This type of therapy helps you change your thoughts and behaviors, identifying distortions that lead to excessive crypto behavior. You’ll also develop problem-solving skills, social skills, and relapse prevention education.
Another popular form of treatment for crypto gambling addiction is motivational enhancement and interviewing. These strategies can help you recognize your mixed motivations toward crypto trading and investing. It can help you change your motivations and control your behavior.
Crypto gambling addiction and crypto trading addiction present real problems for those involved in cryptocurrencies. It is essential to recognize and address crypto addiction as a modern problem. If you are struggling with crypto addiction signs, don’t be afraid to seek help and support. Education and behavioral therapy are easy ways to find support and overcome your addiction.