Cryptocurrency trading has gained immense popularity in recent years, offering lucrative opportunities for investors and traders alike. However, beneath the surface of financial gains, there lies a darker side to this new-age investment phenomenon. Cryptocurrency trading addiction, a serious mental health issue, has emerged, affecting numerous individuals and their families. In this comprehensive article, we delve deep into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cryptocurrency trading addiction.
What is Cryptocurrency Trading Addiction?
Cryptocurrency trading addiction can be defined as the persistent or recurrent pathological compulsion and obsession to engage in the behavior of investing in or trading cryptocurrencies, despite negative consequences. The addiction can extend beyond just buying and selling tokens, engulfing a trader’s time with chart analysis, market research, data review, fundamental analysis, or investor sentiment. Trading addiction can lead to financial loss, disruption of relationships, career problems, mental health issues, and other negative consequences.
The Role of Neurotransmitters
Dopamine: The Pleasure Chemical
The human body produces a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is used by the nervous system to deliver messages between nerve cells. When the price of a cryptocurrency goes up, and someone completes a successful trade, they receive a rush of dopamine, bringing about a feeling of pleasure.
The volatility of cryptocurrency, coupled with the fact that it can be traded 24/7, can result in excessive and regular boosts of dopamine. Over time, those who develop an addiction to cryptocurrency trading come to depend on it to bring on excitement and feelings of pleasure.
The Impact of Dopamine on Trading Addiction
Some stimuli that release excessive amounts of dopamine, such as sex, drugs, video games, and social media, are more likely to become addictive. Due to volatile price fluctuations, successful cryptocurrency trades fall into this category.
On the other hand, other natural pleasures like eating a great meal or watching a beautiful sunset can become less stimulating and less appealing. The individual becomes preoccupied with their stimuli of choice while losing interest in other life experiences that they used to find enjoyable.
The Connection Between Cryptocurrency Trading and Gambling Addiction
Cryptocurrency trading addiction shares many similarities with gambling addiction, and experts often treat them as related issues. Both forms of addiction involve the compulsive need to engage in risky behavior despite the negative consequences. Moreover, the thrill of potentially making significant profits from volatile markets can be highly addictive, drawing individuals into a cycle of addiction.
The Extent of the Problem
Although the exact number of individuals affected by cryptocurrency trading addiction is unknown, experts believe that a significant portion of the population is at risk. For instance, it has been estimated that about 2.2 million adults in the UK are problem gamblers or are at risk of addiction. With 33% of the country participating in the cryptocurrency market, there is a growing concern that the issue of trading addiction is just the tip of the iceberg.