Originally Posted by joe777
The question is how do you guys draw the fine line between Passion and Addiction in poker?
Firstly, you can be addicted to poker and not be addicted to gambling. You can also be addicted to neither or both and still play the game successfully or unsuccessfully with or without passion.
Basically any addiction comes out of pain and gives short term pleasure but has clear long term negative consequences. This can pretty much be anything. Poker is just one of the things that can fill the void but it is not the root cause of anyone's addiction issues.
For example, if you have a lack of dopamine levels because of x life issue and poker gives you a dopamine chase, then it might suit. But so might drugs, or intense exercise. It is hard to say exactly what "fix" will be more detrimental long term although we can make educated guesses as to what will probably eventually be more beneficial to the mind/body.
In an ideal world all people would be able to approach their issues with a level of compassionate inquiry and get through their pain instead of projecting upon others or finding outside distraction pieces. But any natural human reaction is pretty easily understandable. Generally people who develop any serious addictions have had the hardest lives, yet they often get further punished by society for their resultant life "choices".
Personally I don't believe any coping mechanism is a conscious decision. For example, if you have ever played when you are on tilt, the next day you can look back and realise none of your decisions or actions were that of your rational self. To "recover" from any addiction just means to recover yourself. Often people can tilt because their true self is tired or hungry or stressed about another life issue and the rage is a natural instinct that was suppressed.
If you are interested in more on addiction/psychology/philosophy/mind/body I would suggest looking into the works of Dr. Gabor Mate