Financial analysts taking a growing interest in cryptocurrencies find their price swings frustrating. But that’s exactly what might make them tantalizing to people who are susceptible to a gambling addiction or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

At least, that’s the argument posed by Castle Craig Hospital, a rehab clinic and treatment center in Scotland that just announced that it will offer treatments for people who are addicted to trading cryptocurrencies. While the American Psychiatric Association (APA) doesn’t recognize cryptocurrency addiction as a real condition, Castle Craig provides its own checklist of warning signs.

Many of the signs are essentially the same as those of gambling addiction (which is recognized by the APA), such as going into debt to sustain one’s habit, but tailored to buying cryptocurrency instead of playing poker. So it’s likely that “cryptocurrency addiction” is not a brand-new condition that emerged along with user-friendly crypto trading platforms; instead, it may be a form of gambling addiction that was glommed onto a new type of betting.

The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the guidebook that the APA puts out to help mental health professionals categorize, diagnose, and treat mental disorders, came out in 2013, a full 13 years after the previous version. The way we diagnose mental illness changes slowly as new trends emerge and doctors thoroughly consider the best way to offer help, and technology is advancing much, much faster.

As such, the controversies surrounding addictions or dependence on technology like video games have not been officially resolved. For now, the DSM notes that “Internet Gaming Disorder” is worthy of further study but is not yet recognized as a diagnosable condition. Read more from…

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