Are Tattoos Addictive? Why Getting A Tattoo Makes you Want More

Tyler Martina

Are Tattoos Addictive Does Getting a Tattoo Make You Want More

Are Tattoos Addictive? Why Getting A Tattoo Makes you Want More

Tattoos have been a part of human culture for thousands of years, and tattoos, once fairly uncommon, have become much more popular in recent years. With this new popularity there have been questions about tattoos, and one of the tattoos questions people often ask is, “Are tattoos addicting?”,  “Does getting a single tattoo lead to the desire to get more?”.

While there is no official medical diagnosis for "tattoo addiction," it is true that  some people do report feeling a compulsive desire to get more tattoos after getting their first and subsequent tattoos. This phenomenon is often referred to as "tattoo fever" or "tattoo mania," and can affect novices getting their first tattoos and veterans who have a significant portion of their body covered with tattoos alike.

So, are tattoos addictive? 

The answer is not a simple yes or no. To help us truly decide whether tattoos are addictive or not, let’s explore the different factors that can contribute to someone feeling “they are addicted” to getting tattoos.

#1: Tattoos Look Really Cool

The number one reason people become addicted to tattoos is that they look really cool. Once you see what is possible when it comes to decorating your body with tattoos it is easy to want to do more. Plus, tattoos give you an incredible amount of control over your appearance, enabling you to express yourself in cool and unique ways. Once you have a taste of this power it is hard to stop continuing to enhance your physical appearance.

Tattoos Look Cool So People Like Them Are Tattoos Addictive

An example of a very cool Lion tattoo done by Steve

#2: Endorphins

When you get a  tattoo and the needle begins to tear the flesh, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins  are chemicals that trigger feelings of pleasure and happiness in the brain. These endorphins can create a "high" and make you feel quite good even though you are going through a mild amount of pain being tattooed. Just like people into S&M this rush can be addictive, and people may want to experience it again and again, tattoo after tattoo.

Endorphins are Released From Tattoos Are Tattoos Addictive

Endorphins are released by the brain from pain, including the pain from a tattoo, click here to learn more about endorphins

#3: Meditative Experience

Tattoos, as crazy as it sounds, can be a very meditative experience. The mild pain of the tattoo makes your mind relax and focus. This means the tattoo experience calms the mind and allows you to feel fully present, something that is becoming far too uncommon in our hectic world. Just like any form of meditation, your body craves more meditative experiences, and these experiences can help us cope with a host of internal problems including, emotional pain, trauma, anxiety, and more.  

Getting Tattoos Is Meditative Are Tattoos Addictive

Being tattooed can be a meditative experience, and this can feel addicting

#4: Social Influence

Social influence can also play a role in tattoo addiction. Seeing others with tattoos can create a desire to fit in or to be seen as part of a particular group. This desire can lead to getting more and more tattoos to “Keep up with the Joneses”. Obviously, you should only get tattoos that you want to get, and what others are doing shouldn’t have a big effect on your decision to get a tattoo or not.

Social Influence on Tattoos Are Tattoos Addictive

Social influence can cause us to want to look like those around us, but don't let these "bad boi's" decide whether or not you get a tattoo

Final Word on Tattoo Addiction

It is worth noting that while some people may feel a compulsion to get tattoos, it is not a true “addiction". A true addiction means they have a problem. And most people can get multiple tattoos with it in no way negatively impacting their lives. 

That being said you can tell if it is a real addiction by the common signs for any addiction. If the desire for more tattoos can become problematic, leading to financial strain, social isolation, and other negative consequences.

Tattoos are an awesome way to express yourself and in the process get some pretty desirable side effects, this makes you want to get more tattoos. However, this is not a real addiction. As long as getting tattoos has no negative impact on your life, then continue to get them as much as you would like.

See you soon!


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