Breaking the Cycle Of Tattoo Addiction: Tips For You

Last Updated
March 8, 2023

What Is It?
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A tattoo addiction refers to a strong, ongoing desire to get multiple tattoos, often driven by the excitement or emotional satisfaction associated with the tattooing process. People with tattoo addiction may find the pain, anticipation, and the release of endorphins during tattooing pleasurable or calming.

- Endorphin release
- Emotional coping
- Personal identity
- Social belonging
- Artistic expression
- Impulsive behavior
- Habituation

- Obsessive thoughts
- Frequent tattooing
- Prioritizing tattoos over necessities
- Impulsive decisions
- Experiencing emotional distress or anxiety when not able to get a new tattoo
- Neglecting personal relationships or commitments
- Disregarding health risks

- Therapy
- Support groups
- Mindfulness and stress management
- Impulse control strategies
- Setting boundaries
- Addressing underlying mental health issues
- Professional guidance

Do you like getting tattoos? Do you feel like you need to get more tattoos? While some people think tattoos are an excellent way to show themselves, getting too many can have dire consequences and can leade to a tattoo addiction.

These include health risks, money problems, and even regret. In this blog post, we will discuss ways to stop getting tattoos.

What is tattoo addiction?

A tattoo addiction is when someone, likes getting tattoos and wants to keep getting more and more. It's like when you find a game or activity you love, and you want to keep doing it all the time.

People addicted to tattoos enjoy the feeling of getting a tattoo, even though it can hurt. They like the excitement of waiting for their new tattoo and feel good when their body releases a special chemical called endorphins, which helps them feel happy and calm. [1]

Why do people get tattoos in the first place?

  • Endorphins
  • Adrenaline rush
  • Potentially desire to feel pain
  • Self-confidence
  • Style or fashion statement
  • Self-expression
  • To commemorate significant life events, milestones, and influential people
  • Spiritual, cultural, or religious expression
  • Emotional commitment
  • Peer pressure [4] [5]

What makes tattoos addictive?

  • Using it to cope with difficult emotions
  • Enjoying the aesthetic
  • A way that can be used to change their bodies or express themselves [body art]
  • People with certain personality traits, such as being impulsive or liking new and exciting things
  • To feel in control of their lives
  • It causes an adrenaline rush
  • It releases endorphins
  • Enjoying the pain that it causes while doing tattoos [6]

When does getting a tattoo becomes a problem?

  • Getting tattoos on impulse
  • Getting tattoos in visible places
  • When you already have multiple tattoos
  • As soon as one spends too much money on tattoos
  • Missing work or other obligations because of your tattoo appointment
  • When people constantly ask you to get tattooed, and you have trouble saying no
  • When you are isolating yourself from family and friends to get tattoos
  • When you no longer enjoy activities that you used to love because you'd instead get tattoos
  • Paying excessive prices for tattoos and
  • The financial commitment becomes problematic
  • Struggling to obtain work because of your professional look [7]
  • When you have health repercussions (i.e., allergic reactions, skin infections, blood-borne diseases)
  • You don't appreciate or find meaning in your tattoos
  • When you're constantly thinking about, preparing for, and getting inked for extended lengths of time
  • As soon as you experience intense tattoo cravings and go through withdrawal when you resist them
  • When you get tattooed to experience the pain of it
  • Using tattoos to distract you from problems in your life
  • Getting tattoos only to remove them [6]

Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Tattoos

Tattoos have been around for a very long time, and different people from around the world have used them for various reasons. In some places like ancient Polynesia, having a tattoo meant you were important or special. In Japan, a long time ago, tattoos were sometimes used to mark people who did something wrong.

Nowadays, many people get tattoos because they think it's a cool way to show off their style or tell a story about who they are.

But it's also important to know that sometimes, people can want too many tattoos. This can happen because they feel like they need to fit in with everyone else, or because getting tattoos makes them feel better when they are sad or hurt inside. It's like when you might want to keep eating your favorite candy - it tastes good, but too much of it isn't good for you. [2]

The Impact of Social Media on Tattoo Addiction

Social media, like Instagram and TikTok, has made tattoos more popular. These apps feature lots of pictures and videos of people with tattoos. Sometimes, seeing all these tattoos can make other people want to get more and more tattoos too. It's kind of like when you see your friends getting cool new toys, and you want them as well!

Some people even feel like they have to compete with others on social media to get attention and likes, which can make them want even more tattoos.

But it's important to remember that social media can make people think and feel in certain ways. If seeing lots of tattoos on social media makes someone want too many tattoos, it might be a good idea to take a break or follow different accounts that focus on being healthy and happy, not on how you look. [3]

A table that outlines the relationship between mental health and tattoo addiction

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Tattoo Addiction

Some studies tell us that people who often feel very depression, anxious, or have problems with getting addicted to things are more likely to get lots of tattoos. For some, getting a tattoo helps them feel a bit better when they are going through tough times because it releases a chemical in the brain that makes them feel good. But this can turn into a habit, where they feel like they need to keep getting tattoos to feel okay, which isn't healthy.

If someone is getting too many tattoos because they're feeling sad or worried a lot, it's important to help them with those feelings first. Talking to a professional, like a counselor or therapist, can help them understand and deal with their feelings in a healthier way, so they don't have to rely on getting tattoos to feel better. [8]

The Role of Family and Social Support in Recovery

Getting over a tattoo addiction is much easier when you have the help and support of family and friends. Sometimes, people might feel embarrassed or alone because they think others don't understand why they keep getting tattoos. This can make them feel bad and not want to ask for help.

But having people around who care and want to help can make a big difference. It's important for anyone who feels they can't stop getting tattoos to have a group of supportive people. This group can include family members, friends, and even doctors and counselors.

They can help the person feel understood, give advice, and cheer them on as they try to get better. It's like having a team of cheerleaders who are always there to help you feel strong and supported! [9]

How to overcome a tattoo addiction?


Tattoo addiction is a serious issue that can have negative consequences on an individual's mental health, physical health, and social and financial well-being. Seeking professional help from a therapist or addiction specialist is one of the most effective ways to overcome tattoo addiction.

Therapy can help individuals identify the underlying causes of their addiction, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and learn strategies for managing triggers and cravings. Additionally, online therapists can provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment for individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions surrounding their addiction. [10]

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy that can help you figure out which thoughts and behaviors are not healthy and how to replace them with healthier ones. [7]
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can help you to control your emotions better, deal with difficult situations, and be more aware of the present moment. [8]


There is no medication available to treat tattoo addiction. But doctors may prescribe medication to help with mental health problems that make people want tattoos, such as depression, anxiety, or OCD.

Self-care activities

  • Make a list of reasons why you need to quit
  • Set realistic goals
  • Avoid triggers
  • Find alternative ways to deal with your triggers, like journaling, meditation, or exercise
  • Find a support group or an online community
  • Take up a hobby that will distract you from the urge to get another tattoo
  • Find healthier ways to express yourself, like singing, painting, or knitting [11]

Real Stories From Real People About Their Tattoo Addiction

Hannah Orenstein

The text is a personal narrative of a woman who got her first tattoo at 18 and is now 25 with 21 tattoos, covering about 40% of her body. She originally thought her first tattoo would be her only one, but after feeling that the needle only felt like scratching a mosquito bite, she wanted more. However, she was cautious at first because she was afraid of the difficulties that visible tattoos could cause in finding a good job, like her mother's experience with an ugly tattoo that she later had removed.

She graduated from college with a degree in painting and is currently getting her master's in sculpture, aiming to teach sculpture at a university or work in a woodshop. As she pursues a career in art, she is less concerned with forcing some deep meaning onto all of her tattoos, and now, she gets inked just because she likes the designs. Although tattoos aren't cheap, she has never skipped buying groceries or paying her bills or purchasing Christmas presents for her family in order to get one. She is responsible with her finances, and if the money is there in her bank account, even if she doesn't have a fully formed idea yet, she thinks she needs to go get a tattoo. [12]

Savannah Haskay

Savannah Haskay, a woman from Utah, has spent over £12,000 on tattoos and wants to be almost entirely covered in them. Despite being dumped multiple times due to her addiction, the 27-year-old has no plans to quit.

Savannah got her first tattoo, an anatomical human heart on her hip, at the age of 15, and has since amassed a collection that includes a blacked-out forearm, a wire fence on her neck, a rose on her chest, and a heart under her eye. While some of her friends and family have encouraged her to slow down or avoid more visible tattoos, Savannah says she still looks forward to each new inking and doesn't think her addiction is a bad thing. [13]

Melissa Sloan

Melissa Sloan, a 45-year-old mother from Wales, is addicted to tattoos and gets three done every week, which has resulted in a negative effect on her life. Sloan carries her own inking gun with her, but her bold appearance, which includes tattoos covering most of her body and face, has resulted in her being refused entry into pubs and unable to find a job.

Sloan said she enjoys getting tattooed, and the inspiration comes from whatever she likes. She does some of the tattoos herself and completes others with the help of her boyfriend. She also stated that her children love her tattoos and help her choose which tattoos to get. However, the mother of two is often met with cruel looks from the public, and her appearance has changed a lot over the years. Despite the negative effects, Sloan has no plans to quit getting tattoos. [7]


You should consider getting a tattoo a big decision and not take it lightly. It's important to do your research and seek advice from experts in the field before making a final decision. Take your time and don't rush into getting a tattoo on a whim. It's also important to consider the long-term effects of tattoos and to avoid going overboard with the number of tattoos you have.

We encourage you to join the conversation below and share your thoughts and experiences with tattoos. Your comments can provide insight and guidance to others who may be considering getting a tattoo.


How can I prevent tattoo addiction?

Understanding your triggers and seeking alternative coping mechanisms can help limit your urge to get another tattoo, such as journaling or meditation. Setting realistic goals for yourself and finding a support group can also help you stay on track toward a healthier lifestyle.

What should I do if I think I'm addicted to tattoos?

If you think you're addicted to tattoos, it's essential to talk to a professional who can help you understand your triggers and develop a plan for healing. Additionally, seeking out an online support group or joining an activity that will take up your time can help keep your urge to get another tattoo in check.


  1. Digital Commons: Tattoos as a Behavioral Addiction
  2. Research Gate: The Cultural Heritage of Tattooing: A Brief History
  3. University Of Free State: Social Media, Permanence, and Tattooed Students
  4. Academia: Why People Get Tattoos
  5. Choosing Therapy: Tattoo Addiction: Myth vs. Fact About Being “Addicted to Ink”
  6. SiOWfa13: Science in Our World - Are Tattoos Really Addictive??
  7. Nypost: I’m ‘addicted’ to tattoos — and now I can’t get a job
  8. Research Gate: Comparing the emerging psychological meaning of tattoos in drug-addicted and not drug-addicted adults
  9. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY THERAPY
  10. Addiction Center: Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  11. Research Gate: Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction without Treatment
  12. Seventeen: I'm Addicted to Tattoos
  13. The Sun: Tattoo Dumped Trolls Quit

⚠️ Disclaimer: The content of this video is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Consult a qualified health professional for any medical concerns.

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I have a passion for writing. I work as a Senior Marketing Manager for Islomania LLC. I have developed a strong interest in writing articles and website management during my time here. I enjoy both article writing, poetry, and story writing. In my role as a marketing manager, whether I’m writing an article, or a story, or improving other writers’ content, I always try to engage my readers and give them something to think about.
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