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.


Surprise, You Have Anemia

I’ve been lucky for most of my college career to not be the stereotypical “broke college student,” because I worked a lot more than I wished I had, looking back. However, after I spent all my money in Europe last spring, I was met with more bills, my sometimes impulsive spending habits, and no savings. Thankfully, I lived at home, but I was paying hundreds of dollars a month for school without any help.

My organizational skills are awful, and that includes budgeting. I decided the best way to save money was on food. Done right, this would have been a great idea, except I didn’t limit the food I bought at restaurants going out, I limited what I ate for my daily meals. I rarely packed a lunch, and between work and school, I’d be out of the house more than 12 hours most days. I think I lived an entire semester on yogurt and bananas from my office and muffins or bagels from Dunkin Donuts.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

I felt fine at first. I finally lost weight, so I was really happy about that. But then, I started feeling worse. The first thing that hit me was the exhaustion. I was so tired all the time, and sometimes I even found it hard to stand. I was dizzy and lightheaded often, especially when I stood up. My heart would suddenly start beating fast and sometimes I had unexplained chest pain. I was rarely hungry, and when I was, the thought of eating made me nauseous. I was short of breath for no reason at all, and was beginning to be horrified at just how out of shape I thought I was. (I’m sitting on my couch writing this now and I still can’t seem to get enough downloadoxygen breathing regularly.) It took a long time for me to make a doctor’s appointment, because I never thought to put all those symptoms together. I didn’t think I was sick enough to go to the doctor’s and I thought I’d be wasting everyone’s time.

My mom finally forced me to go and even the doctor was puzzled. She told me she couldn’t see anything wrong, but there must be something. After a bunch of blood tests, we finally figured out that I have iron deficiency anemia. I didn’t even know that was a thing. It’s not serious, and I’m so glad for that, but even after taking iron pills for a month, I don’t feel much better. Apparently, it takes a long time for your body to recover from such a severe lack of iron.

Eating Well in College is Important

Now that my senior year is coming and I need to get an internship, I will be even shorter on cash and anemia is the last thing I have the time or attention to worry about.  We’ve all seen those news stories on Facebook telling us that we can’t eat right on a minimum wage budget. Even though this is sort of true, health problems down the road can cost even more than you could imagine. Eating right is so important, especially in college, when we are pushing our bodies to the max with work, schoolwork, partying, extra curriculars and all-nighters.

There are other ways aside from expensive take out to eat well and be a responsible adult.. My sister (somehow) wakes up early every morning to give herself enough time to pack a lunch and eat breakfast. I’m lucky If I can wake up early enough to put on makeup before rushing out to catch my bus. However, I can’t just take my health for granted even in college, because it could affect me for the rest of my life. I’m so thankful that my anemia is nothing serious and it won’t be so long-term, but I realize now the freshman fifteen isn’t the only unhealthy side effect I need to worry about when eating in college.