There’s no easy or right way to deal with having a mental illness, but one way that some people use to cope with their condition is to get a tattoo about it. The specific design is up to the individua...

Tattoos That Help: Mental Health Tattoos

There’s no easy or right way to deal with having a mental illness, but one way that some people use to cope with their condition is to get a tattoo about it. The specific design is up to the individual, as is the meaning, but overall, they can serve as a great way to tell yourself to keep going. That piece of ink can serve as a reminder that no matter how tough things get, you CAN do it, you CAN get through it, and you ARE strong enough. Read on to check out some designs to help you come up with your own mental health tattoo. :

Serotonin Molecule Tattoos

Serotonin is an essential chemical in the brain that regulates things like our moods. It gives us feelings of happiness and well-being, facilitates our ability to learn, retain memories, and so much more. When the brain is lacking in serotonin, we experience a number of symptoms, and this is largely thought to be the culprit behind a number of mental illnesses. A number of disorders, like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD have been attributed to a distinct lack of serotonin.

Serotonin Molecule Tattoo Design

This is corrected using medications like SSRI’s (serotonin reuptake inhibitors), natural remedies, exercise, and a number of other solutions, but it’s not always as easy as doing x, y, and z. People with mental illnesses that are caused by serotonin issues embrace their illnesses through tattoos using designs that include the molecule itself. It makes for a cool, science tattoo design, while also having the added benefit of owning one’s mental illness, rather than feeling ashamed of it.

Semicolon Tattoos

Semicolon tattoos are the most internationally recognized symbols of mental health awareness thanks to Project Semicolon. What started as a symbol for suicide awareness has taken on many other mental illnesses. People get these tattoos to represent their struggles with depression, anxiety, and many other forms of illness. The idea being that there are days when it feels like you can’t go on, you can’t see your bad days ever ending or ever getting better, but you will find the strength to go on and continue; you know there’s a light at the other end of the tunnel and the way you’re feeling now will go away, as hard as that is to see at times. Getting a semicolon tattoo can manifest as a visual reminder of that – that they can do it. It helps people suffering from various mental illnesses that they have the strength to fight through their worst days.

Mental Health Association Logos

Disordered Eating Tattoo Symbol

There are a number of different organizations that are dedicated to helping those suffering from mental health issues, and a lot of people benefit from programs that these groups run. If you’ve worked, been involved with, benefitting from, or been under the care of one such organization, then perhaps the logo for the place that helped your recovery could make a great tattoo. Each organization has a unique logo that symbolizes what they do and what they stand for, so depending on what your experience has been, you have options in terms of design choice. For example, the photo above is an eating disorder recovery symbol using the official logo of the National Eating Disorders Association in the United States. You can use any association that you feel has helped you and take whatever symbol you feel best represents them to use as a mental health tattoo that’s unique to you.

Meaningful Quote Tattoos

Mental Health Quote Tattoo

We all have quotes or song lyrics that we favor; they resonate with us, we like the meaning behind them, or we just like the words in the order that they’re put in. When you’re suffering from mental illness, sometimes that quote or lyric takes on a deeper meaning. Getting those words tattooed on you is one way to have the phrase or song with you all the time, so you can easily look at your tattoo and remind yourself of what they mean.

Life Lines Tattoos

Lifeline Tattoo Design

When you’re in the midst of a mental illness episode, break down, or not feeling able to overcome, sometimes what you need is a life line. This can be in the form of a friend, a song, a tattoo – anything that makes you feel happy and like you want to go on. Getting a life line tattooed onto your body can serve as that reminder, and reiterate to yourself that you do want to live, and that you do have the strength to do it.

Mental illness is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, and everyone has their own ways of coping. For some, getting a tattoo as a visual reminder of important things can go a long way to helping them overcome a particularly rough patch. For others, tattoos can serve as a reminder that they’ve overcome it before, and they can do it again; it’s a reminder of their own strength. No matter what kind of mental illness tattoo you think you could benefit from, there are a number of options to choose from.

If you are looking for help with your mental health please visit NIMH for resources to get the help you need.

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