A self-confessed crypto trading addict and father of two is facing the dire prospect of losing his family forever after secretly racking up $180,000 in debt from his crypto trading habits.
Posting his story on the r/relationship advice subreddit on Feb. 21, Reddit user “Leather_Opposite2135” said he started dabbling in cryptocurrency trading around 2021.
Fast forward two years to the present day and he’s been kicked out by his wife and is at least $180,000 in debt.
“It started just dabbling,” said Leather. “It’s a tech space so I found it very interesting. Joined a bunch of online spaces (discord) and eventually watched a few people trading btc and immediately got hooked.”
Within a year, he had already “burnt” $50,000 from trading cryptocurrency, with the funds lost coming mainly from his software business.
“Skip forward another year and it got really bad,” said Leather, noting that his addiction had started to take hold as he started to fund his trading through other means, such as personal loans and credit cards.
“I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I found all sorts of ways to fund it, including getting personal loans, credit cards, lying about all of it.”
“I was gambling on my phone when I went to the bathroom, when the kids were sleeping, on my computer when not busy with work.”
Leather noted that around three weeks ago he finally came clean about the debt to his wife, who didn’t take the news well, threatening to leave him and take ownership of their house.
He’s since banned himself from crypto, handed over control of his trading accounts to his wife, and has been seeing a gambling addiction counselor weekly, but admitted it was initially hard to shake the addiction.
“Emotionally, I was all over the place for the first 2 weeks. Cold turkey from something I spent 10 hours a day on (minimum) […] All the while the little voice telling me to go looks at charts on the shoulder.”
The original post has since been deleted by Leather_Opposite2135 on Reddit but is neither the first nor last story shedding light on the possible dangers of crypto trading addiction.
Rehabilitation centers around the world have begun adding crypto trading addiction to their list of services treating compulsive habits, next to alcohol, drugs and behavioral health.
“Clinically, we have certainly seen an increase in people coming to therapy who report difficulties in managing their crypto trading behavior,” clinical psychologist Dr. Anastasia Hronis told Cointelegraph in an email.
“In a similar way to gambling, many of them will report that it disrupts their day to day life, they spend a lot of time thinking about it, and may also be experiencing financial hardship as a result.”
Dr. Hronis noted that similar to online gambling addiction, there is an “ease of accessibility” with crypto trading “that can be quite dangerous for individuals.”
Related: How to build a crypto portfolio without spending any money or time trading
“A person can be seen to be engaging in their normal day-to-day life e.g. going to work, spending time with family and friends, participating in hobbies etc, while still trading alongside. This means that an addiction can actually become quite severe before anyone else in that person’s life notices.”
“Given the newness of crypto trading, I think that treatment is still catching up to some degree. While the general principles of treating an addiction can certainly be applied here, there are nuances with crypto trading that would benefit from being better understood for better inform clinical treatments,” added Dr. Hronis.
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