Symptoms of a Tattoo Obsession and How To Treat It


  1. Stalking Tattoo Artists (STA)
    1. With social media and the art of networking, it’s not too hard to find tattoo artists or their work online. Sooner or later, your Instagram and Twitter feed becomes filled with inked limbs. If your feed is at least one half about tattoos and specific artists, then you may be stalking. If you have designs or specific artists in mind for future projects, you can classify it as research for future services and being well-educated, until those projects actually occur, you’re still stalking.
  2. Compulsive Body Doodling (CBD)
    1. Is half of your pen’s ink expended on the inside of your wrist, hand, above the knee and in your elbow? Do you know which pen brands sit better on the skin? If flower petals have ordained your knuckles and half mandalas crowned your knee, you may be a compulsive doodler. Testing the location for a tattoo, the position, how it fits your body and if you still like it the next day.
  3. Media Tattoo Addictions (MTA)
    1. Buzzfeed: the catch-all news source and compilation of social experiments for millenials nowadays, and to our luck, Buzzfeed actually has numerous videos on the matter. Testing the waters of people’s first tattoo, cover-ups, surprise tattoos, matching tattoos, broaching it with parents, pranking people, temporary tattoos and so on and so forth. You know when your YouTube recommended page is filled with tattoo videos and social experiments about such and you’ve seen them all, you have a problem. If you binge watch every season of Ink Master and stay up late for Tattoo Nightmares, that may also be a symptomatic clue that you’re addicted.
  4. Persistent Conceptualization Tattoos (PCT)
    1. Have you texted your friends excited because you got this great idea for a tattoo that would look awesome in this location and it means something important to you? Have you done this on multiple occasions? Are you regularly starting conversations with your friends about such? Or just sending images you stole from your crowded Instagram about this tattoo you found and now want? I think it goes without saying that you have Persistent Conceptualization of Tattoos.


Humans have been painting their skin for centuries, as a form of social status and now more commonly seen as a form of artistic expression. You could say that tattoos have had one of the longest lasting fashion trends. For as long there has been humans and ink, they have been combined.

In a recent study, the FDA found that 45 million Americans have tattoos. With pop culture ever changing and growing, the number seems to be rising by the second. Tattoos have become an integral part of society and culture, as shown in the media, with celebrities, athletes, business tycoons, even Kindergarten teachers have full sleeves nowadays. All in all, it seems like tattoos are being welcome into society with open arms, but there is still some push back.

To help your friend or family member experiencing Tattoo Obsession, support them. It is always better to express yourself, give yourself reminders about things you love and create memories for a lifetime. Tattoos are normal. To accept that and support your friend and family member is the best support you can offer.

If you feel the need or would like to do more in their quest to be inked, make sure that the patient is doing research on the tattoos, the tattoo artists, the parlors, reviews and how sanitary they are. Although tattoos are common practice, they are still a business that should be taken with caution. Verify everything, avoid infection or being stuck with a horrible tattoo.

As the patient, make sure to conceptualize the tattoo and give it time. We’re all evolving beings, you could change in the next three months and the tattoo idea may no longer apply to you. You may still want it. You may not. Some articles recommend you think about it for at least a year while others advise on six months. If you’re someone who’s very decided, a year may be too long for your mind. If you’re someone who’s very indecisive, you may need more than a year and many photoshopped photos to decide. Whatever is best for you and your mindset. But when you know in your heart what tattoo you want, get it. There’s nothing wrong with being inked.

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