Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire, Scotland, has opened a new clinic offering help to those addicted to trading forms of alternative currencies.
A spokesman from Castle Craig, Rupert Wolfe Murray, said they've been fielding calls from all over the world inquiring about services related to their cryptocurrency addiction program.
A matter of time, or of markets?
Trading addiction is often likened to gambling addiction. The hospital said in a news release: "Cryptocurrency users can get hooked by the volatile fluctuation of prices online which creates a 'high' when they buy or trade a winning currency.
"This can be exciting but also addictive and, like gambling addiction, can be financially disastrous."
Behavioral addiction professor Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, added, "Addiction to cryptocurrencies is a sub-type of online day-trading addiction, " and echoed, "I see these as akin to gambling addiction."
The clinic's opening was announced during bitcoin's losing streak. Last week alone, the total value of all cryptocurrencies tumbled by over $60 million.
What are the signs?
Castle Craig offers a guide on cryptocurrency addiction, and explains that if a person answers "yes" five or more times to the following questions, they are a pathological cryptocurrency addict who needs to seek help:
- Do I spend a lot of time thinking about different types of cryptocurrency?
- Am I spending large amounts on cryptocurrency?
- Have I tried to slow down or completely stop cryptocurrency trading — but not been able to?
- Do I become restless or irritable if I try to cut down my screen time related to cryptocurrency?
- Do I jump on the computer and start trading in cryptocurrency to escape from life's problems or to try to elevate my mood?
- Do I carry on trading in cryptocurrency after losing money — to try to gain it back?
- Have I ever fibbed to other people about how much time or money I spend trading cryptocurrency? Have I ever taken money unlawfully to fund my cryptocurrency addiction?
- Has my cryptocurrency trading habit had an effect on my relationships or my job?
- Do I try to get other people to lend me money when I have lost on investment?