This is a very difficult question to answer; can we be addicted to trading? But what is really the limit between passion and addiction? And it’s even more difficult to identify when you’re concerned yourself
For everyone, addiction is bad and passion is good.
As a result, we all say that we are passionate but certainly not addicted. And even when we are really addicted, are we really able to realize this on our own?
I admit it, I was an addict and my wife helped me out by making me understand why I was an addict, showing me the signs and telling me how I could evolve without stopping everything. Anyway, it was her or my addiction. I had to make the choice between my life as a couple and my trading life. I am now passionate and more addicted, it took me time and it is an everyday struggle not to fall back into addiction, to become dependent on this daily activity again.
Anyway, addiction makes you unhappy. Of course, sometimes you have feelings of extreme joy when you win. This somewhat compensates for the long moments of distress and loneliness when we see our actions fall. But this does not compensate for the distance from our family. We don’t realize it at first, but when we go out with our friends, when we are with our wives (or husbands but it’s much rarer the female addiction to trading although it also happens) and our children, we think of actions. Did we make the right choice? Should I sell or buy more?
Then, the better it goes, the more conversations with others annoy us. We are not interested in hearing what happened at school for the children, what we have to cook for tonight, etc. The only thing that interests us is to quickly get rid of all these social tasks and eat quickly to go “to work”.
The night also seems too long to us. We are exhausted but it is very difficult to turn off our screens because we know that once we go to bed, we will not be able to fall asleep easily anyway. You might as well wait until you’re really on the verge of fainting before you go to bed.
In fact, for those around us, it is not easy because they see an evolution in our rather slow but lasting behaviour. My wife used to complain about me spending more time with her and then she would negotiate. It irritated me. I didn’t feel understood and I found her too dependent on me. It took me a long time to understand that I was the problem and especially that there was a problem.
Addiction leads to social isolation and inevitably to depression (sometimes depression). You don’t feel fulfilled spending all your free time trading since you have to face a lot of losses that destroy you morally and if you have to work next door, it doesn’t fill you with joy and all you can think about is going back to trading.
So what are the situations that should tell you that you do have a real gambling addiction?
- You have had problems with your family and friends and you prefer to isolate yourself: you do not think you are part of this rather uninteresting world
- In the evening, you have trouble stopping trading because you know that you will think about it in your bed and that you will have trouble falling asleep anyway
- Even if you have lost money in trading, you think it’s just a bad time. You will recover and get back on track without making the same mistakes
- You think from time to time that it takes up too much of your life and that for your own good, you should reduce the time spent trading
- You make beginner trading mistakes: you take big risks on your capital, you try to erase your losses by increasing the size of your positions
- If you don’t trade, you get bored
- When you lose, the feeling is much more intense and long-lasting than when you win. And when you lose, you ruminate much more than when you win. In fact, when you win, you play again immediately.
If you recognize yourself in these points, you are like me addicted to trading. Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal in itself. We tend to dramatize addiction, but we are not murderers. For me, this is a moment of error when we found more interest in trading than in life, which I would call “real”.
How to stop addiction?
This is a little more complex. My grandfather who had an alcohol addiction had to find a substitute and became addicted to soft drinks… But in our case, coca won’t solve our problem.
- It is essential that you be aware of your addiction. As I said, our first concern is to think that it is others who misunderstand the situation. We do not believe in our addiction. To do this, I advise you to keep a log of your trades with the time spent each day on the trade. Share the start time, end time, your feelings and also your mistakes and why you think you made a mistake. This will allow you to evolve in the trade. You think I’m crazy? I give you yet another reason to spend more time on trade? It’s the only way I’ve found to get interested in this journal. If it doesn’t help you, you won’t do it. At the end of the week, look at the number of hours you spent there. That’s quite telling. We are not far from a job in itself, but unfortunately, most of the time, we do not even earn the equivalent of a salary. Tell yourself that it’s not normal to spend so much time on this activity!
- Find a way to gradually detach yourself from this activity by finding another social activity. I think it’s the hardest step. There is very little interest in other activities, there is no adrenaline in trading and it gets boring very quickly. You have to hold on and insist. For me, the revelation was to do sophrology with my wife. It relaxed me, it allowed me to think about something else and it did me a lot of good. I found myself a little bit because I had really lost myself.
- Cut yourself off from the world of trading for a few days. Go to the countryside and recharge your batteries with your family or friends. Show them that you’re not the lonely, somewhat aggressive guy they thought you were. Cook, play tarot cards or a board game. Make sure you have fun. Your mind is very powerful and we are able to be “self-hypnotized”. When I get angry, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and calm down and tell myself that it’s nothing and that it will pass. The same goes for boredom. When a situation bothers me and I want to go back to trading, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and try to find the nice points in the current situation.
- It is not necessary to stop trading completely. You can continue, but you must set limits on yourself. These limits, you know them deep inside yourself, either they are time limits or they are loss limits. It’s up to you.
In any case, know that there is a life after addiction and that this life is worth living. Do not isolate yourself to the very depths of your entrenchment by telling yourself that others do not understand anything and exaggerate. Be self-critical and trust those around you. To get out of this, you will have to find a solution with them. You can’t do it alone.