trading obsession-help!

Chartsy

Experienced member
1,129 82
Hey guys, I believe that I have a slightly different case of trading obsession than most people, and I'm confused about how to overcome it to be honest, so I'll explain the back story.

From the ages of 15 onwards(I'm now 21) I have had severe ocd, anxiety and mild depression. Put simply, as ocd is a complex disorder with many manifestations, it sucked the life and soul from me in my teenage years, I would, because of ocd, be anxious ALL the time. This eventually led to me having a bit of a nervous breakdown before I was finally diagnosed with ocd and anxiety at 18.

The issue lies in the fact that trading, like some sort of videogame, became my only outlet for feeling calm and collected, and non anxious. From the age of 15 onwards I became-obsessed- with trading, I have spent thousands of hours poring over charts and learning to trade. What's more, I actually became very good at it and very profitable under a mentor, who offered me a large account for when I turned 18. I figured though, after my breakdown, that this reeks of emotional addiction and obsession and is probably very unhealthy. What's worse is that I wasn't a day trader, I swing traded the daily charts, and yet I was still obsessed.

So I put the markets on hold for a few years, deciding that I'd better sort out my ocd and anxiety issues. In 2 years I completely turned my life around, I was no longer the neurotic chart obsessed introvert with no common sense. Through therapy and my own efforts , without medication, I assume I've cured some 75% of my anxiety and ocd. The problem now is that I tried several times to'come back' to trading even just weekly charts, and yet I'm still getting a thrill and buzz feeling from trading . in fact not even trading, just the whole process of learning and analysis puts me in a state or zone which I can't help but be addicted to.

So I'm at ends now. To reiterate, I am not addicted to forex in the sense that I am over trading, fiddling with stops, gambling huge percentages per trade or even spending an abnormal time trading, as I now try to focus on weekly charts. I keep beating myself up over this because feel like I'm pissing away my new found confidence and 'normalness' compared to before. Each time I'quit' I come back , each time I come back I feel myself becoming somewhat obsessed again, even with weekly charts, and hate myself and quit again.

Any advice guys?
 

tomorton

Legendary member
8,175 1,239
Its possible to become addicted to any behaviour, there doesn't have to be a rational basis for it.

But surely addictive behaviour is only a problem if it interferes excessively with your normal enjoyment of a happy and fulfilling life? You say you're not neurotic now (and genuinely well done you for your efforts here), you're not over-trading etc. but you do get a buzz from trading - why would that be a problem?
 

tokyojoe

Established member
874 289
Hey guys, I believe that I have a slightly different case of trading obsession than most people, and I'm confused about how to overcome it to be honest, so I'll explain the back story.

From the ages of 15 onwards(I'm now 21) I have had severe ocd, anxiety and mild depression. Put simply, as ocd is a complex disorder with many manifestations, it sucked the life and soul from me in my teenage years, I would, because of ocd, be anxious ALL the time. This eventually led to me having a bit of a nervous breakdown before I was finally diagnosed with ocd and anxiety at 18.

The issue lies in the fact that trading, like some sort of videogame, became my only outlet for feeling calm and collected, and non anxious. From the age of 15 onwards I became-obsessed- with trading, I have spent thousands of hours poring over charts and learning to trade. What's more, I actually became very good at it and very profitable under a mentor, who offered me a large account for when I turned 18. I figured though, after my breakdown, that this reeks of emotional addiction and obsession and is probably very unhealthy. What's worse is that I wasn't a day trader, I swing traded the daily charts, and yet I was still obsessed.

So I put the markets on hold for a few years, deciding that I'd better sort out my ocd and anxiety issues. In 2 years I completely turned my life around, I was no longer the neurotic chart obsessed introvert with no common sense. Through therapy and my own efforts , without medication, I assume I've cured some 75% of my anxiety and ocd. The problem now is that I tried several times to'come back' to trading even just weekly charts, and yet I'm still getting a thrill and buzz feeling from trading . in fact not even trading, just the whole process of learning and analysis puts me in a state or zone which I can't help but be addicted to.

So I'm at ends now. To reiterate, I am not addicted to forex in the sense that I am over trading, fiddling with stops, gambling huge percentages per trade or even spending an abnormal time trading, as I now try to focus on weekly charts. I keep beating myself up over this because feel like I'm pissing away my new found confidence and 'normalness' compared to before. Each time I'quit' I come back , each time I come back I feel myself becoming somewhat obsessed again, even with weekly charts, and hate myself and quit again.

Any advice guys?

Hi Chartsy, you are not alone, most people in this game are a little obsessed with it, after all, like most endeavors where a high degree of concentration or/& skill is required we need to be a little obsessed to a degree.

My way of dealing with this potential problem of obsessing too much is by having very strict time frames, treating it almost as if it were a job.
This is part time for me, but when I am in the markets I give it 100% in given time frames, no more, no less.

My learning curve is going to be longer, but it enables me to have a normal life outside of trading.

You are very young, therefore have bags of time to keep trading constrained to sensible time frames.
 
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Chartsy

Experienced member
1,129 82
Its possible to become addicted to any behaviour, there doesn't have to be a rational basis for it.

But surely addictive behaviour is only a problem if it interferes excessively with your normal enjoyment of a happy and fulfilling life? You say you're not neurotic now (and genuinely well done you for your efforts here), you're not over-trading etc. but you do get a buzz from trading - why would that be a problem?
I think its more of a fear of slipping back into obsessive behavior, because there was a stage where trading was a real passion and I sacrificed a lot of free time and to be honest some relationships as well. I guess now that I have a life that I enjoy and relationships I value I'm perhaps overly cautious of ruining it again. Is think the best idea, as someone on another forum suggested, is to make trading more boring and stick to a couple of hours every Sunday to scan charts for setups on the weeklies
 

tomorton

Legendary member
8,175 1,239
Yes Chartsy, that should work - a domestic form of time management if you like, to make sure each day/week you have made some time for those things / people you really appreciate outside of trading.
 

spinola

Established member
614 137
It helps if you're obsessed with trading. You're competing against others who watch from 6 AM - til PM.

Maybe the problem is that you don't have enough time resource for trading ? But, if you love trading , then make yourself available as any other job, say Monday to Friday 6 AM till lets say 6 PM

When do you make time for family, friends ? Friday evening , and the weekend. The rest of the week, make trading your job.

So you control your obsession and unleash it in a controlled manner executing your trades . I wouldn't want to hold anyone back, and wild horses won't keep a passionate trader away from trading.

I think you have to position yourself to follow your passion, just like any other person who is passionate about becoming a Doctor, vet, accountant, etc etc... Do they make time ? Are they obsessed to qualify and to work their asses off, and sacrifice a chunk of their life ? Of course they are.

So trading availability , 60 hours a week. Socialising at the weekends. You want ZERO distractions from friends or family whilst you're working.

Just like any other work. so approach it that way.
 

Fugazsy

Veteren member
3,661 677
Chartsy, thank you for your post.

knowing that you are obsess is a great step forward, accepting it is another, surrendering to it is a greater further step forward..... there you can rest, breathe and discover yourself, fear will also arise, so what? it is another great chance to more discovery......do what feels right, your heart will guide you...
 
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Jason101

Experienced member
1,372 215
Question, is there anything more important than your health.

Answer, no.

Next question, Is there anybody that knows more about your health than you do?

Answer, no.

This does not mean you should or should not trade. It means you should trust yourself to do the right thing for yourself.

For me I am a swing/trend trader and very happy with my return. I only allow myself to look at charts for 10 -20 minutes a day if that. Between 9 and 9.30pm. Sometimes I will go days without looking. When I am looking I am opening positions, moving stops and entries and adding to positions. Then once every couple of months I will update my watch list in chart form. If I am ever tempted to look at intra day it usually goes horribly wrong. While learning I was obsessed (because I was looking for non existing answers) now I have stopped learning I am very lax and need to talk myself into opening up my positions to manage trades and open new ones. This for me is more healthy.

I am not saying it would work for you.your answer maybe not to trade?
There is nothing more important than your health.
And I wish you good health.
 
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options-george

Well-known member
483 92
Hi Chartsy,
it's great that you are getting a lot of suggestions from a lot of posters above!

My recommendation would be that you seek professional help on this from either a therapist, or a trading psychologist. As well as read through some trading psychology books. I am studying my way through Steenbarger's psychology text at the moment, so that's one I would recommend.

Good luck
 

barjon

Legendary member
10,616 1,755
............ Each time I'quit' I come back , each time I come back I feel myself becoming somewhat obsessed again, even with weekly charts, and hate myself and quit again.................

Hi Chartsy

I always reckon that the people who have got it made in this world are those who do for a living what they would otherwise do as a hobby. In other words, they get a real buzz from what they do and that's great.

Similarly, for "obsessive" read "single minded" and everyone who is successful in one way or another tends to be single minded in what they do. It's a great attribute.

So you get a buzz from trading and get pretty single minded about it - luvly jubbly.
 
 
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