Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable. When we look at this definition of Addiction, we can be sure that an individual can get addicted to almost anything, including Bitcoin.
There are four key parts to this definition of addiction:
- Addiction includes both substances and activities (such as sex, gambling).
- Addiction leads to substantial harm.
- Addiction is repeated involvement despite substantial harm.
Addiction continues because it was, or is, pleasurable and/or valuable.
We can clearly see that the exciting arena of cryptocurrencies can provide an avenue for these traits to prosper. Traditionally, it is not too different from people who are addicted to gambling or even stock market trading.
The following documentary by Motherboard seems to sum up Bitcoin addiction.
In the mini-documentary, one patient referred to as Mark was a gambling addict, and he got involved with Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2017, as the bull market was hitting its stride. His holdings from 2015 had increased astronomically in value, and he managed to make a significant amount of money out of the leading crypto.
The sheer volatility of BTC is the key to addiction, with the constant highs and lows triggering dopamine hits similar to those with hard drugs. Heightened by drug use, his obsession caused him to go weeks without sleep, and he ultimately began to have neurotic delusions and other troubling symptoms.
Castle Craig Attempts To Cure Bitcoin Addiction
Castle Craig is the largest addiction treatment hospital in the UK and since it’s founding in 1988 has treated more than 10,000 patients. The hospital gained some real interest in the crypto community recently when they became the first clinic to announce that they were actively helping people who had become addicted to the heady highs and desperate lows that can come with trading cryptocurrencies.
Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital says,
“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 & losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”
Specialist therapist Tony Marini helps to explain the fundamental challenges addicts face and how easily addictive behaviors will spread from one vice to another. This helps us to understand that cryptocurrency trading addiction is not ‘new’, special or different from any other type of destructive compulsive behavior but represents a new vice that current addicts can be easily drawn into.
Based Blockchain Network