I started self directed investing in 2012 with $20k. My first big success was betting on American Airlines after they filed bankruptcy before the merger with US Airlines. It was a 5x return in less than two years. I took that money and bought a house to Airbnb and ended up with about $250k.
I reinvested into the market and made my way all the way up to about $600k during the Covid spurt. Then I began to fuck with options. The first few wins were big for me, $5k, $10k, $20k, etc. then I really started betting big and hit returns over $100k in a single day. I couldn’t stop. The dopamine rush was too good.
The ups were euphoric and the downs sent my mind and body into a total whirlwind of intense emotion. It was the sickest drug. I couldn’t get enough. Nothing else matter other than becoming as rich as possible. And then I finally crossed the $1m threshold…. For only one day.
The next day I the market looked like shit but I was so hard up for my next fix I played anyway. Down $100k – eh it’ll come back, I can’t lose. Down $200k – if Itake the hit now that means I’m a loser, no way. Down $250k – ok I was wrong, time to switch sides and redeem myself. Down $330k – fuck fuck fuck!!! Don’t worry, I’II get it back next week…. And I did. $980k. Nice, almost back to $1m.
And then down. And down. And down.
All of it. Gone. 9 years of building $20k into $1m. Because the high was never high enough and the low was never enough to stop me. I went through deep depression, lots of suicidal thoughts, and darkness I didn’t think I’d come out of. A year of therapy, books, podcasts, support, and I’m doing better. Relapsed once and lost another $90k in a single day, just because I couldn’t lose.
We’re a dopamine nation now. This forum says it all. Gambling at your fingertips and the ever looming reminder that some people actually win and get super rich. At least for a little while. But the highs are never high enough and it never ends. Check yourselves before it’s too late. Day trading can be a real gambling addiction and you really can lose it all no matter how good you are.
I hope this helps save even just one person.