The saying goes, "Tattoos are like potato chips ... you can't have just one."
Roughly 14 percent of Americans have a tattoo, according to a 2008 Harris Interactive poll. People often associate their tattoos with specific characteristics. For example, 36 percent of inked individuals say their body art makes them feel rebellious, 31 percent feel sexier and 19 percent feel attractive and strong.
Tattooing and other body modification such as piercing, branding and scarification, are ways for individuals to express themselves and display body art -- and many people report that the endorphins released during a tattoo session make up for any discomfort during the process.
However, when body modification turns to self-mutilation or self-injury, mental health professionals grow concerned. Cutting, for example, is a technique people with emotional problems use to control their emotional pain. Cutting and other self-injurious behaviors can be symptoms of mental illnesses including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.