A growing number of investors are facing a compulsive addiction to cryptocurrency day trading, Bloomberg reports, prompting them to seek out addiction treatment services in the form of weekly $90,000 clinic visits or telehealth rehab services.
Crypto addicts may find their brain’s reward system is stimulated similar to drugs or alcohol. The worst-impacted may find themselves compulsively trading crypto, concealing their behavior from loved ones and depleting their savings while accumulating debt.
“Excessive crypto trading and high-risk stock trading could be forms of gambling and lead to gambling disorder,” Lia Nower, director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, told Bloomberg.
In particular, the natural volatility of the crypto industry, as well as the dopamine hits from purchasing Dogecoin and engaging in high-wire financial risk-taking, may electrify the neurons of our brain. And unlike a gambling addiction, crypto trading is often less stigmatized by society, given its association with investing.
But many can still find their entire savings wiped out.
“It’s very similar to being at a roulette table,” crypto addiction therapist Dylan Kerr told Bloomberg. “[Crypto-trading] is seemingly neverending, and it demands your attention.. if you take your eyes off the prize, you could miss out on massive opportunities and incur massive penalties.”
At Paracelsus Recovery, a $90,000-a-week clinic in Switzerland treating crypto addiction, the focus is on creating a holistic system that can facilitate recovery. Patients are given three psychotherapists and access to personal trainers, acupuncturists, yoga trainers, and even nutritionists. The clinic saw a 300% spike in interest about crypto addiction between 2018 and 2021.
The well-heeled addicts have access to a private suite of personal chefs and butlers, along with limousines driven by chauffeurs. The clinic also handles more than cryptocurrency addictions, also helping people navigate addictions to porn, plastic surgery, work, or even exercise or shopping.
“These are very intelligent people, but they stop thinking straight,” Thilo Beck, the head psychiatrist at Paracelsus Recovery, told Bloomberg. "They know enough about statistics to understand that the chance that they will win back is really small, but they still believe it, and the more they lose, the more they want to play or buy.’”