Gambling has long been identified as highly addictive to people with a genetic predisposition for addiction. But far away from the glittering lights of casinos, another closely related addiction has emerged: Day trading.
The pursuit of money is certainly one of the primary goals for anyone in the modern world. Money is the means by which we secure just about every necessity in life. As such, money is not an end in itself but rather a tool to provide food, shelter, and other material comforts. But what happens when this logic is turned on its head, and money itself becomes the goal, without any reference to how it will be used? A recent post on TheFix.com examined the issue.
Gambling has long been identified as highly addictive to people with a genetic predisposition for addiction. But far away from the glittering lights of casinos, another closely related addiction has emerged: day trading.
Day trading is, simply, playing the stock market at home. With the advent of broadband internet connections and real-time trading, users can quickly buy and sell stocks and other investments from the comfort of their own home – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While in the past, financial transactions were typically placed through a broker and could take multiple days to be processed, technological advance has extended the instantaneous gratification of the web to major financial decisions.
The net result? Enticed by the lure of making huge financial gains, many homeowners and family men (and women) find their savings devastated and even find themselves taking on new debts in order to play the markets.
Recent research conducted at Imperial College, London, has found that stock trading – much like other addictions – influences the reward centres of the brain. A person addicted to day trading is hooked on the expectation of pleasure that he or she will receive from trading. In turn, this becomes a habit and a preoccupation of daily life. Some day traders report literally waking up, turning on their computer, and getting online in order to start trading. While others explain how they move through different time zones as markets close.
What’s more, it actually seems possible that when the day trader loses significant amounts of money, it actually provides further reinforcement to their addiction. There is a certain thrill derived from standing on the precipice of financial ruin. With danger comes excitement and the further hope of conquering the markets.
Some might argue that day trading is different from gambling, insofar as trading relies on analysis and intuition, whereas gambling is primarily under the influence of chance. However, this difference is dispelled when one considers that many gamblers, even lottery players, believe that they have some knack for winning. Moreover, with the volatility of the market, huge swathes of stocks can lose value indiscriminately. Despite having chosen a relatively robust investment, when the market fluctuates, almost every investment is affected.
It is perhaps this greater volatility of the markets that provides higher excitement levels for the day trader. And for those with an addiction to day trading – this further excitement provides all the more enticement to take on more risk than is advisable.
The Cabin, Chiang Mai, specializes in treatment of addiction for high-functioning individuals who struggle with this and other addictions. If you are seeking treatment for addiction, contact one of our specialists today.