The signs of a crypto addict

Crypto addiction and gambling addiction can be treated the same way

People in a circle in group therapy                                 
People seated in circle talking and sharing problems – Photo: Shutterstock

A rehab clinic in Scotland claims to be the first in the world to treat cryptocurrency addiction, by offering a similar treatment to that for a gambling addiction.

Castle Craig Hospital is a private residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, located in Peeblesshire, Scotland. The clinic states that “compulsive betting on cryptocurrency markets is a fast-growing, worldwide problem”.

Signs of cryptos addictive?

People who are constantly watching the price change of bitcoin and other cryptos can become addicted to the process, according to Castle Craig.

The Scottish rehab clinic said: “Those who have invested in cryptos can get hooked on watching these minute-by-minute changes as they are reported via the internet.”

Research conducted by the rehab clinic shows that crypto investors can suffer from fear of missing out (FOMO) and so constantly monitor news and prices of cryptos. Castle Craig warned “it can take over a person’s entire life”.

Gambling and cryptos

Dr Mark Griffiths, a professor in psychology and behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University, told Castle Craig that crypto addiction is “akin to gambling addiction”. Castle Craig believes addiction to cryptocurrencies can also be treated the same was as gambling addiction.

In 2015, the UK’s Gambling Commission found that more than two million people are either addicted to gambling or at risk, with online gambling being one of the fastest growing addictions in the world. There are currently over thirteen million people in the world who are actively trading cryptos.

Denial is a common feature

Additionally, Castle Craig explains that denial is the most common feature of all forms of addiction, with addicted people often making excuses and justifications.

A digital currency addiction is easier to deny than other forms of addiction as less people are aware and have knowledge of cryptos.

Why are gamblers attracted to cryptos?

Gamblers are attracted to cryptos as it offers similar rewards but does not carry the same stigma.   

Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig said: “The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made.”

As gambling and crypto addiction can be treated in the same way, Castle Craig has the resources to deal with such issues.

Further reading: How safe is my crypto stash?

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