Tattoo art is, for sure, an incredible way of expressing yourself. However, there are times when it can become an addiction and actually lead to multiple risky behaviors.
Let’s find out why people with tattoos may have higher addictive tendencies and what activates this type of behavior.
Generally speaking, addictive behavior can be visualized as a pattern of repetitive actions which bring damage to an individual’s mental and physical health.
From a neuropsychological point of view, addiction is based on the demand and rewards system, which enables the release of the so-called ‘feel-good’ chemicals, such as dopamine, that give you a state of fulfillment. Once the brain gets hold of these substances once, it will request an even higher quantity over a shorter time span in order to get relief.
This translates to increased demand for ‘the product of your addiction’ with less and less control over its onset and consequences. The after-effects of addiction show up pretty quickly in the overall functioning of the body and, depending on its type, different parts of the brain are altered so much that its entire chemical balance can be permanently damaged.
Trauma’s linkage to risky behavior
People who went through traumatic events are more prone to engaging in risky behavior and, thus, develop a type of addiction. In fact, from a psychological perspective, this compulsive behavior can be perceived as a coping mechanism that ‘shields’ an individual from confronting uneasy emotions that come as a result of a past or a present traumatic event.
A significant component that can be the primary enabler of emotional dismissal is the lack of support from the people closest to that particular individual. As humans, we are designed to receive comfort when dealing with upsetting situations in order for our feelings to be seen and heard by people around us. The lack of it implies redirecting this need towards risky behavior with the hopes of receiving the same degree of comfort from them.
Addiction can also appear on a social basis. Many teenagers and young people seek to be accepted into a group and, ultimately, receive the attention and approval of its members. In order to do so, however, most catch on risky behaviors in order to maintain their status within that particular group.
At this age, a tattoo clearly catches your eye, which boosts the desire for attention. Having a tattoo may make you look ‘cooler’ than others in your friends’ eyes, and so, you receive the approval you are seeking.
However, those who start young with such behaviors that dwell upon the opinions of others are likely to develop multiple addictions over time, which can permanently alter their life.
The rush in dopamine provided by tattoos
Besides the obvious desire for attention (which a tattoo certainly fulfills through its intricate and unique design), some people might find relief and understanding in their tattoo.
Therefore, it can be viewed as a way of expressing and exposing their ongoing pain to the world while getting comfort that the events they’ve gone through are no longer kept shut in silence. And that is also a type of reward!
Do you know the saying ‘one trouble never comes alone? Well, addiction works on the same principle, as people usually engage in more than one risky behavior.
The worst part, however, is that they might not even realize when they have become addicted until their physical health has already been compromised. Here are a couple of examples.
Gambling as an incessant way to win money
Theoretically speaking, gambling must only be perceived as a leisure activity. Unfortunately, the avid rush to win tremendous amounts of money makes the brain addicted to receiving a higher reward with every gaming session.
This path leads to extreme money losses, which can ultimately result in debt, poor mental health, and the apparition of other compulsive behaviors like drug and alcohol use. Moreover, some continue gambling to retrieve their lost amounts which usually translates to even more losses.
Having seen the impact of compulsive gambling upon players, many regulatory bodies have imposed the online casino to provide responsible tools that keep the player on track. These include deposit and time limits, self-exclusion, account closure, and many more!
Alcohol as a coping mechanism
Alcohol can also be a factor that may bring relief in dealing with strenuous events.
And alcohol addiction not only has effects on mental health but will also bring severe damage to the liver, which can lead to death. Fortunately, there are multiple institutions that provide specialized assistance with trained professionals who can assist the ones in need.
As we have stated earlier, even tattoo art can become addictive and enable other risky behaviors as well. But, a tattoo can also serve as a reminder to keep your mental health at a safe level!
Yearly, more and more people are dealing with a form of mental distress throughout the globe. For instance, as stated in a study conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Organization, 1 in 5 Canadians go through a mental health issue each year. The problem is that these issues come with a certain stigma that impedes people to seek professional help, which will only worsen their state.
And so, the semi-colon tattoo appeared as a way to combat this belief. It stands as a symbol of survival for those who have managed to overcome their obstacles thus far and as a reminder to speak up and tell their story in order to help others!