Therapists are meeting more and more patients who suffer from a cryptocurrency trading addiction. To meet the demand, luxury private clinics and practitioners have developed therapies to cure individuals suffering from addiction.
Addiction to crypto trading recognized by some caregivers
American news outlet Bloomberg interviewed several therapists specializing in the treatment of cryptocurrency trading addiction. Health experts claim that this addiction is close to gambling addiction. Dylan Kerr, an online therapist based in Thailand, compares the addiction to trading to the fact of being seated at a table in a casino:
“It seems endless, and it demands your attention. If you take your eyes off the price, you could miss massive opportunities and incur penalties.”
Asked by the Washington Post, Lia Nower, director of gambling studies at Rutgers University in the United States, compares excessive trading to lottery tickets. For her, this addiction hides, above all, dependence on risk:
“People love lottery scratch tickets because they can scratch crazy, and they get their reward in a second, and it gives them a dopamine rush. “
Like gambling, drugs or alcohol, crypto-asset trading activates dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine causes a feeling of pleasure and well-being. The person then risks continuing to trade cryptocurrencies only to feel the benefits of dopamine. This is the gear that leads to the installation of an addiction.
Cryptocurrency trading addicts are on the rise
Unsurprisingly, trading addiction has a detrimental impact on mental health. According to a Finnish study published last January, individuals who have developed an addiction suffer from “psychological distress, stress and loneliness”.
Many therapists have noticed an increase in patients consulting for crypto-trading addiction. For example, Aaron Sternlicht, a therapist in New York, noted “an influx of people seeking help” on the subject.
Requests relating to crypto-asset trading have increased by 40% at his firm, assures the American therapist. But unfortunately, “a lot of people who need treatment will not end up getting treatment,” says the caregiver. Insurance companies do not yet recognize this dependence. Only individuals with high incomes can therefore afford therapy.
Therapies devoted to addiction to trading are costly, reveals the Washington Post survey. For example, Aaron Sternlicht charges $2,500 for a consultation on the subject. A 45-day intensive therapeutic treatment plan is sold for $25,000.
Private clinics offer expensive therapies
Some private clinics have also developed similar offers for the wealthiest patients. This is the case of Paracelsus Recovery, a luxury drug treatment centre located in Zurich and London.
The clinic offers online therapy sessions at 484 euros per hour, a 7-day detox program at 96,000 euros and a month-long residential treatment at 348,000 euros. According to Jan Gerber, the head of the private clinic, inquiries about therapy focused on cryptocurrency trading have increased by 300% between 2018 and 2021.
The same is true in Scotland, where luxury clinic Castle Craig claims to have treated more than 100 cryptocurrency trading addicts since 2016. The facility’s therapist has developed a 12-step healing process similar to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Despite the increase in cases, Aaron Sternlicht specifies that there “is not yet enough research” on the subject for patients to be correctly diagnosed. Very often, individuals who claim to be addicted to trading have developed more traditional addictions to alcohol, drugs or medication at the same time.
The Finnish study relayed above also hypothesizes that people “with existing mental health problems would be more likely to take risks” with cryptocurrencies. Concretely, excessive trading would rather be one of the symptoms of an already existing psychological suffering.
👉 Read also: 15 Metaverse Games That You Should Add to Your List