Family could be lost forever as crypto trading addiction gets out of control


The devastating effects of an out-of-control crypto trading addiction are being felt by a young family, with a father of two confessing to racking up over $180,000 in debt through his secret trading habits. 

Posting his story on the subreddit r/relationship_advice on Feb. 21, Reddit user “u/Leather_Opposite2135” said that he started to get involved in cryptocurrency trading during 2021.

Two years later, and the consequence of his trading habits has resulted in him being thrown out of his family home and facing financial ruin.

Excerpt of one of the comments by the original poster responding to another Redditor. Source: Reddit

“It started as a seemingly harmless interest,” said Leather. “I joined a lot of online spaces (Discord) and eventually watched a few people trading bitcoin, and I quickly became hooked.”

Within twelve months, he had already lost $50,000 from trading cryptocurrency, with the bulk of the funds coming from his software business.

“A year later it was really bad,” said Leather, noting that his addiction had spiraled out of control 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 revealed that three weeks ago he finally came clean about the debt to his wife, who reacted badly to the news, threatening to leave him and take ownership of their house.

He has since banned himself from crypto, handed over control of his trading accounts to his wife, and is seeing a gambling addiction counselor weekly, though he admits it was initially hard to break 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 on Reddit has since been deleted by Leather_Opposite2135, but it is not the only story to highlight the potential dangers of crypto trading addiction.

Rehabilitation centers around the world have begun adding crypto trading addiction to their list of services to treat compulsive habits, alongside alcohol, drugs and behavioral health.

Crypto rehab center based in the United Kingdom. Source: Castle Craig

“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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