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I feel a bit silly asking a polygraph examiner in Swansea about this, but I don’t know where else to turn.

My son Andy is obsessed with having tattoos which may be partly my fault.  I’m 50 and still a member of Hells Angels as I have been since I was young. I have a number of tattoos that haven’t aged well and the colours have now faded.  Andy was always fascinated by them.

Andy pestered me from around 12 to let him have a tattoo and I refused.  I wanted him to grow up and get a good education first.  He is now away at University studying psychology and I am very proud of him.

I was a bit disappointed when he didn’t come home on his first mid-term break.  My wife and I have missed him terribly since he has been away.  He chose instead to spend the holiday with one of his fellow student’s parents. On the next break it became evident why he chose to stay away.  He had heavily tattooed both his arms. This also explained why he was always short of money despite us giving him a generous allowance.

Since those early days at Uni he has had more tattoos and it seems to me that he wants skin art all over his body.  The tattoos are creeping up his neck and soon he’ll have them on his face. When I mention anything about them to him he calls me a hypocrite.  I have a lot of tattoos so how can I judge him?

The difference is that I am a motor bike mechanic and he wants to be a psychologist.  Whilst discrimination is illegal in all its forms, what chance is he likely to have of being employed when the whole of his face is tattooed?

My feeling is that there is something wrong.  I can understand him wanting the odd tattoo but to cover all of his skin in ink doesn’t make sense. Could he be addicted to having tattoos?  Would you as a polygraph examiner in Swansea be able to find out?

B.R., Swansea

Response from polygraph examiner in Swansea

There is no evidence to suggest that tattoos are addictive but there may be an underlying reason why Andy feels the need to cover his skin with art. Many tattoos have an emotional element to them.

As a polygraph examiner in Swansea this is not the first time a question of this type has been asked so there is no need for you to feel silly.

Hopefully Andy is using a certified tattooist and has checked his/her qualifications. Although a degree isn’t needed when becoming a tattoo artist, you’d normally do an internship or complete a tattoo course in order to obtain a tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence. This is required if you wish to have a career as a full-time tattoo artist.  There is a health risk attached to having tattoos with blood poising so he should bear that in mind.

However, from several studies carried out on people with tattoos the following has been derived from tattooed adults:

  • They tend to be more promiscuous and indulge in high risk behaviours
  • They have more self-esteem, have fewer inhibitions and are less anxious
  • When being tattooed the pain experienced releases endorphins which can sometimes act as a substitute for some other form of addiction.

You need to find out whether Andy has been addicted to anything else.  Studying psychology, if he has had an addiction to for example, drugs, alcohol or gambling he may be replacing it with the ‘rush’ he feels when being tattooed.

Does he seem more confident to you since he’s had the tattoos? It may be that he has a problem with his body image.

A lie detector test can establish what the problem is, if there is one.  We can work with you to formulate the types of questions we would need to ask in order to identify an underlying problem.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask a polygraph examiner in Swansea?

Contact us via our website contact form or call us on our free helpline – 0800 368 8277.  We try to respond as quickly as possible and our advice is free.