If you are like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who found an obsession with cryptocurrency prices taking over his life, then rehab may be the place for you.
A clinic in Scotland is advertising a rehab course for Bitcoin and other digital currency addicts who are finding that they spend too much time tracking their volatile investments.
Psychologists believe the swiftly changing prices of altcoins are attractive to traders who are susceptible to gambling or obsessive/compulsive disorders.
Castle Craig, one of Europe’s leading rehab centres says cryptocurrency traders concerned about their addiction have reached out for help.
The clinic addiction to trading cryptocurrency is no different from compulsive gambling.
Day trading high
Day trading gives speculators a high when they buy or sell for a profit, which can be addictive, and like gambling, can lead to a financial disaster.
Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University said “Addiction to cryptocurrencies is a sub-type of online day-trading addiction. I see these as akin to gambling addiction.”
Wozniak has explained he sold his cryptocurrency holdings because he spent too much time in front of a screen watching the fluctuating prices of his investment.
The rehab centre says cryptocurrency addicts will be treated as part of the clinic’s established treatment program for gamblers.
Escape from reality
Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital 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. It’s a classic bubble situation.”
The clinic web site says research shows a typical user who compulsively checks prices online and monitors media for reports of price surges or crashes.
“Cryptocurrency users talk of FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out – and the need to monitor news and prices constantly. It can take over a person’s entire life and result in them spending their life savings, salaries and even stealing,” the site explains.
Of course, there is no suggestion that Wozniak is a cryptocurrency addict who needs treatment in rehab. He sold his holding and retains just a single Bitcoin for research purposes.