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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I'm interested to know if there has been any research linked

Customer Question

I'm interested to know if there has been any research linked to men who tattoo their own names on their bodies and psychological disorders. My ex-wife is dating a man who has enormous tattoos of his own last name across his stomach, on his fingers, and other violent (devils, daggers, etc) images covering a great deal of his body. He is 40 years old, listens to death metal, and is generally a very scary guy. I have a six year old son who I'm very worried will be scared and thrust into a dangerous environment, so I'm trying to get an idea of what kind of personality disorders I may be dealing with here.
This same person knowingly propositioned a married woman (my wife at the time) and has also threatened me via text messaging and his Facebook page during the ensuing 7 months of the divorce process. My ex-wife and I are highly educated, white collar professionals and were raising 5 kids together - so this kind of person is an enormous flip of personality for me to confront and understand.
Is there any quick insight or research you can point me to? Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello, I believe I may be able to help you with your question. Because tattoos are more socially acceptable in today's Western culture, there has not been a lot of research done to explore the relationship between psychological issues and tattoos. But there is a very enlightening paper from a few decades ago that analyzed correlations between tattoos and the content of such tattoos to different personality disorders/traits that you may find interesting.
http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5547&context=jclc
Some past research has shown that individuals with tattoos can be described as more adventurous, less likely to follow social protocol, individualistic (possibly selfish), and more creative.
http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.2000.86.2.475
Here is also a very good article on how tattoos in the male prison population has a likely psychological implication. The paper shows that individuals with more visible tattoos, and ones that promote death, destruction, hate, etc...are more likely to be diagnosed with an Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09585189908402168
There is no specific evidence/research that tatooting one's name on your body is a sign of any disorder, but it is possible that this could be a sign of a belief of self-importance that is not based on reality. Individuals who have excessive tattoos typically have a low self-esteem, so by tattooing his name in multiple places may be a sign of grandiosity. Overall though what you are describing about this man, despite the tattoos, would cause anyone to be concerned. Threatening you can be a sign of ASPD as well, especially if intimidation and threats are part of his general demeanor and behavior.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue and helps you with your research on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.
If you are satisfied with my answer, I would truly appreciate it if you can take the time and provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I was checking in to see if you have any further questions or concerns that you would like me to address on this issue?
If you are satisfied with my answer, I would truly appreciate it if you can take the time and provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you. Thank you

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