Millions of Americans suffer from depression and anxiety with many suffering alone. A great way to raise awareness and show solidarity is to explore mental health tattoos. If you have struggled with your mental health, you know how alienating the fight can be. Further, mental illness is virtually invisible which means we have no way of knowing whom among us is going through difficult times. Mental health tattoos remedy this!
We wanted to get a better idea of the sorts of tattoos people are getting to raise awareness around depression and anxiety so we turned to social media to discover the latest designs. We were pleased to find a variety of tattoos in varying sizes, colors, degrees of seriousness, and tone. These mental health tattoos offer the world an intimate look into mental illness and show that you’re not alone. Check them out!
Get Inspired by These Moving Mental Health Tattoos That Tackle Anxiety & Depression.
To kick things off, we start with a rather moody design that imagines a person trying to escape from their own mind. It’s a powerful tattoo that really helps visualize feelings that often go unseen.
“This is a reminder to keep fighting for myself and for what I want in life,” the person with this tattoo shared. “It’s also a reminder of my battle with mental health and that I’m stronger [than] what’s going on in my head and I can get through it every time.”
“This Is Fine”
In this patch tattoo, we find a familiar meme that’s most accompanied with the words “This is fine.” The person with it explained, “Life it’s easy. It’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire & the ground is on fire & everything is on fire because it’s sometimes hell.”
Depression & Confusion
In one of the most understated mental health tattoos, we find an almost abstract head, opened to reveal squiggles. The person who shared the image explained that the tattoo is meant to represent confusion and depression.
Look at this gorgeous watercolor butterfly tattoo closely and you’ll find a semicolon used as a symbol for mental illness awareness. It’s a nice piece that shows solidarity as many people know the symbolism of semicolons for mental illness.
Beauty from Pain
The watercolor effect is a very popular choice among mental health tattoos. This is a tattoo specifically about depression, however, it seems to find beauty and hope through the pain with its explosion of color.
Another popular design among mental health tattoos is serotonin, the chemical the brain releases that makes us feel happy. Often, a serotonin imbalance comes with and is caused by depression.
This is a more abstract depression tattoo that finds a head dissected by a grid of wires. It’s very much up to interpretation but to us, it feels like the person wanted to express a disconnect from themselves because of mental illness.
This is one of the most evocative mental health tattoos on this list. The artist who shared the image entitled it “tearwork.” If you’ve ever experienced depression, you can likely relate.
“Everything’s fine,” this tattoo reads as we find a person overboard and underneath water. The person who shared this image explained that it’s meant to express their struggles with anxiety and depression.
The individual who shared this image explained that it’s meant to be a portrait of depression. We must say, it’s one of the best mental health tattoos on this list in terms of the artist’s skill. Wow!
“It’s okay to not be ok all the time,” the person who shared this image advised. This is a very interesting mental health tattoo as it marries more contemporary ideas to a traditional style of tattooing. It’s beautiful.
A Familiar Feeling
If you’ve suffered from depression and/or anxiety, you know how disorienting it can feel. This mental health tattoo beautifully illustrates the mixture of emotions that can feel all jumbled up in your brain.
Here’s another one of the semicolon mental health tattoos. This time, it’s been worked into the shape of an arrow. These lines are very crisp and clean.
Depression can make one feel as if they’re imprisoned by their own emotions. In this straightforward depression tattoo, we find a need to “break free” expressed.
Here’s another one of the mental health tattoos that expresses a sense of entrapment. We find a familiar frog stuck inside of a jar. It’s one of the most original depression tattoos on this list.
After explaining the significance of the semicolon symbol, this person also shared, “The lotus flower, whilst being visually appealing, also has a deep meaning.”
“These flowers are often regarded as sacred and in order for them to rise through the water they have to push their roots through a very thick layer of mud; the flower then retreats back into the water/mud and keeps pushing its way back out looking pristine,” the caption continues. “This therefore represents the act of rising above and pushing through, despite the struggles being faced.”
In this tattoo, we find one of the most stylish and unique designs on this list. It’s okay to be sad at times and if you need to cry a river as a release, this tattoo lets you know that it’s okay to do so.
“I Am Enough”
“You can grow flowers from where dirt used to be,” the person who shared this image quoted Kate Nash. The bandaid says “I am enough,” which is an excellent sentiment. Healing is a journey and you can share that you’re currently on it with mental health tattoos.
Many people who suffer from depression see psychiatrists to help them manage their symptoms. In this tattoo, we find the complicated relationship people with anxiety and depression have with their meds.
Here’s another one of the mental health tattoos that wants to convey that even flowers can spring from pain. In this design, we find a more traditional style of design that will appeal to those who love timeless, classic tattooing.
A Beautifully Broken Brain
Here’s a gorgeous tattoo of florals and brains. It’s intended to be a mental health tattoo that encourages the wearer to “take care of their brain “
Here’s another one of the semicolon mental health tattoos. We find the symbol worked into the word “continue.” It’s a simple word of encouragement that makes for a meaningful tattoo.
The person who shared this image explained that the design is specifically inspired by anxiety. In fact, they referred to the design as “anxiety art.” We’d agree with that description!
In the throes of depression, it can be difficult to understand your own self-worth. This tattoo is a reminder that you are worthy of love.
Locked In a Box
Here’s another one of the mental health tattoos that expresses a feeling of being trapped by mental illness. It’s done in a neo-traditional style that looks fantastic.
“Self-care,” this tattoo reads. The placement of this tattoo makes us think it’s just as much for others’ benefit as it is for the person with it. It’s a gentle reminder for all of us to take care of ourselves.
“Prioritizing your mental health is something to celebrate!” the tattoo artist who completed this stunner shared. We can’t argue with that or this mesmerizing tattoo.
One of the most evocative mental health tattoos on this list comes in the form of a girl tied up by her own braid. It is a beautiful symbol for mental illness and how it can feel like folks are in a battle against themselves.
It’s Okay to Cry
The artist who shared this image included a hashtag that said “It’s okay to cry.” It’s a meaningful sentiment paired with this stunning design. What a treasure.
The person who shared this tattoo captioned it “Heavy Thoughts.” It’s a remarkable tattoo that illustrates how unbalanced mental illness can make us feel.
Know Your Worth
Here are a couple of mental health tattoos that remind us to bury self-doubt and to know that we’re all worthy of love and respect. Great sentiments here and really cute ink.
Remember to Breathe
“This one to remind me to breathe, take things slow, and not get overwhelmed,” the person with this tattoo writes. “As you know from [previous posts] I suffer from mental disorders so it’s nice just to have a visual reminder to do the little things when the big things seem so overwhelming.”
A Sense of Humor
Here’s someone with mental illness who still has got their sense of humor intact. We find a brain in a jar with a label that reads “defective, do not shake.” We would not dream of it!
Here’s an evocative design that finds an upside-down face on a head. Mental illness is so very disorienting which makes this mental health tattoo truly resonant.
In Ari Aster’s most recent features, Midsommar and Hereditary, a reoccurring theme is mental illness. We find Dani from Midsommar as the subject matter for one of the most pop culture-inspired mental health tattoos on this list.
The person who shared this image describes a sense of “forever-falling” as the inspiration for it. We think they nailed it.
In Your Head
“It’s all in your head,” is a wise sentiment to remember as mental illness can distort how folks with anxiety or depression see the world.
In this design, we find a brain made of or wrapped in thorns. It’s an interesting concept that proves potent among these mental health tattoos.
Having a mental illness can feel surreal so it’s only natural for so many of these mental health tattoos to employ it to get a point across. We find a beautiful portrait here with some powerful symbolism. It’s a gorgeous piece.
Not Going to Happen
Here’s one of the mental health tattoos with a positive and straightforward message: “I refuse to sink.” It’s a gentle reminder to never give up and to continue to rise.
We’ve all been there but some experience them in a more dramatic fashion. This cute tattoo is all about mood swings, complete with brain and swing.
A common theme you’ll see among these mental health tattoos is the idea of wearing a mask. Because mental illness is often invisible, many people feel as if they’re wearing a mask to “pass” as normal in day-to-day life.
Rain is used as a symbol of sadness and depression in this very unique tattoo. We find a monstrous hand beneath an umbrella that’s raining. Again, some surrealist imagery can go a long way to help mental health tattoos get their points across.
How cool is this semicolon tattoo? We think it’s our favorite one of that genre on this list. We find gorgeous ornamentation inside the shapes that looks so crisp and tidy!
Three, Simple Words
In just three words, we find a message of resilience and self-worth. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can make folks feel inadequate. This tattoo is to remind people that you’re fine just as you are.
A Green Ribbon
Like semicolons, green ribbons are also international symbols for mental health awareness. You will find a lot of them among mental health tattoos today.
Step by Step
We love these mental health tattoos that spread a simple yet effective message. This one tells folks, to take things “one step at a time.” It’s excellent advice.
This tattoo is a pun in a visual form that seems to say, “bee kind.” This is a very clean tattoo with excellent shading. It’s so balanced and beautiful! It’s a reminder to be kind to others but also yourself.
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Take Your Meds
We find pills of love in this bottle with a tattoo that’s all about healing. It’s a cute tattoo that cleverly gets the point across without being too dour about it.
There you go! We hope you feel inspired by these mental health tattoos that raise awareness of depression and anxiety. Mental illness carries such a stigma in our society and these tattoos help to curb that sort of thinking by showing solidarity and fostering hope. If you’ve struggled with mental health issues, tattoos that help you and others remember to stay in the fight are powerful symbols. Share your story with your very own ink!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Get Inspired by These Moving Mental Health Tattoos That Tackle Anxiety & Depression.
- 1.1 Reaching
- 1.2 Keep On
- 1.3 “This Is Fine”
- 1.4 Depression & Confusion
- 1.5 Semicolon Butterfly
- 1.6 Beauty from Pain
- 1.7 Serotonin
- 1.8 Split
- 1.9 “Tearwork”
- 1.10 “Everything’s Fine”
- 1.11 A Portrait
- 1.12 It’s Okay
- 1.13 A Familiar Feeling
- 1.14 More Semicolon
- 1.15 Break Free
- 1.16 Trapped
- 1.17 Anxiety
- 1.18 Moving
- 1.19 “I Am Enough”
- 1.20 Medication
- 1.21 Beauty Grows
- 1.22 A Beautifully Broken Brain
- 1.23 Keep Going
- 1.24 “Anxiety Art”
- 1.25 Worthy
- 1.26 Locked In a Box
- 1.27 Take Care
- 1.28 Happy Pills
- 1.29 Tied Up
- 1.30 It’s Okay to Cry
- 1.31 Heavy
- 1.32 Know Your Worth
- 1.33 Remember to Breathe
- 1.34 A Sense of Humor
- 1.35 Feeling Off
- 1.36 Midsommar
- 1.37 Falling
- 1.38 In Your Head
- 1.39 Feeling Thorny
- 1.40 Surreal
- 1.41 Not Going to Happen
- 1.42 Swinging
- 1.43 A Mask
- 1.44 Raining
- 1.45 Amazing Semicolon
- 1.46 Three, Simple Words
- 1.47 A Green Ribbon
- 1.48 Step by Step
- 1.49 Bee Kind
- 1.50 Take Your Meds
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