Trading cryptocurrency is driving some to seek therapy for addiction – Business Insider

Trading cryptocurrency is driving some to seek therapy for addiction – Business Insider

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Some therapists are seeing a wave of clients seeking help for addiction to buying and selling cryptocurrency and crypto-related mental health issues, according to Quartz
Cryptocurrency made its first big appearance in Super Bowl commercials this year, notably trading platform Coinbase’s, which drove so much traffic to the site that it crashed. Currencies like Bitcoin, ethereum have minted millionaires and even spurred a series of robberies and kidnappings targeting cryptocurrency and NFT owners.
But the rise of crypto has also driven clients – especially men and those who already struggle with mental health – to seek help with addiction to the currencies, per the Quartz report. 
One therapist, London-based Peter Klein, told Quartz that a client in a difficult marriage used crypto as a form of escape, staying in the basement buying and selling currencies and doing cocaine. Others simply express high levels of anxiety and despair about transactions, especially when the volatile crypto markets crash. 
 “Addiction is all about those highs and lows,” Patty Fiore, therapist and crypto trader, told Quartz. This is likely similar to other forms of addiction to gambling or day trading, except, as Fiore said, crypto trading is available 24 hours a day, unlike traditional stock market swaps. 
Klein also told the outlet that since many crypto markets dipped dramatically in December, 30 or 40 people reached out seeking help with crypto addiction. Bitcoin prices, for example, have fallen by more than a third since late November.
The Quartz story follows a June 2021 article in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions on cryptocurrency addiction, which talks about the “the particular structural characteristics of this activity and its potential to give rise to excessive or harmful behaviour including over-spending and compulsive checking,” per the study’s abstract.  It even talks about FOMO [fear of missing out] as a factor in compelling addictive behaviors. 
Ashley Loeb Blassingame, cofounder and chief people officer of online Substance Use Disorder (SUD) counseling service Lionrock, said about 10 clients have brought up cryptocurrency addiction in treatment in the last two or three years. 
“Crypto addiction functions the same way as almost any other addiction, and it’s closest to gambling in terms of, you’re getting dopamine hit every time you make a trade, it’s that trill seeking part of our brain,” she told Insider. 
It has always been secondary or tertiary addiction–or even something that comes up as a new problem when a client is already sober. (She says the company saw about 2,300 clients in 2021). 
“We have people seeking relief, financially, emotionally, spiritually, and politically–through cryptocurrency. It’s something new they can believe in and be a part of,” she added. 

Check out: Personal Finance Insider’s picks for best cryptocurrency exchanges
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