33 Meaningful Mental Health Tattoos to Give You Strength & Courage

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33 Meaningful Mental Health Tattoos | If you're thinking of getting a tattoo and have been searching for a tattoo design that symbolizes one or more mental health challenges you or someone you love face, this post has tons of ideas to inspire you. From minimal word tattoos, to delicate butterfly designs, to specific mental health symbols like the semicolon, lotus flower, green ribbon for mental health, and unique serotonin symbol tattoo ideas, we've got something for everyone!

Whether you’re thinking of getting your first or tenth tattoo, it can be an exciting and scary process. There are so many things to consider, the most important being the design. The internet is full tattoo designs, and finding something that will have meaning to you for the rest of your life isn’t something that should be rushed into. If you’re specifically looking for mental health tattoos, this post is a great place to start. We’re sharing tips to help you choose the right tattoo, a list of mental health symbols and what they stand for, and 33 beautiful mental health tattoos to inspire you!

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Tattoo

As you browse your favorite mental health tattoos, you may be wondering how you will know if it’s the right one for you. To help you, we’re sharing some tips to keep in mind during your search!

1. WHY DO YOU WANT A TATTOO?
Are you getting a tattoo as a way to rebel against your parents or partner, due to peer pressure, or to symbolize something of importance to you? Remember that tattoos are permanent, so if you’re doing this to prove a point or simply because you promised someone you would, make sure you really think through your decision before moving forward.

2. CONSIDER THE PLACEMENT OF YOUR TATTOO
While you may want the whole world to see your tattoo in the weeks and months after you get it, consider whether you will feel the same way 5, 10, or 15 years from now. If you’re not sure, consider getting it on an area of your body that you can easily cover up if needed. I highly recommend ordering a temporary tattoo from Inkbox (you can upload and order personal designs on their website) so you can get a sense for how noticeable your tattoo will be and whether you can hide it if you choose to.

3.CHOOSE YOUR DESIGN
When choosing a tattoo design, make sure to pick something that has meaning to you, and take the time to consider how others may interpret it. You should also consider whether you may regret the tattoo in the future. Trendy tattoos, name tattoos, and tattoos that make bold statements may feel like the right choice now, but you may not feel the same about them over time.

4. CREATE YOUR OWN
If you are artistically inclined, you may consider creating your own tattoo, or ask someone to do this for you. Etsy is a great place to look for custom tattoo designs, and tattoo artists can  also work with you to bring your vision to life.

5. FIND AN ARTIST
Once you’ve made your decision to move forward with a tattoo, make sure you spend some time researching tattoo artists in your area. Ask others for recommendations, read reviews, and look at artist portfolios. Remember that tattoo artists tend to specialize in certain types of tattoos, so if you’re looking for something specific, find someone who can see your vision through.

6. MEET WITH YOUR TATTOO ARTIST FIRST
Many tattoo parlours will require this, but if they don’t, make sure you take the time to meet with your tattoo artist prior to your tattoo appointment. This will allow you to discuss the logistics of your tattoo to determine if any changes are needed to the design and/or placement. Your tattoo artist will also be able to advise you if your tattoo will age well, and may inspire you to do something completely different.

7. DON’T RUSH THE PROCESS
When you make the decision to get a tattoo, it can be tempting to go to the closest tattoo parlour and choose the first design that catches your eye. I speak from experience when I say to slow down. Really give some thought to what you want your tattoo to symbolize, what design you want and where you want it to live on your body, and make sure to find an artist that can create something you will be proud of for the rest of your life!

6 Mental Health Symbols & Meanings

If you’re looking for meaningful mental health tattoos, there are so many options to choose from. Some people choose a word, mantra, or quote that resonates with them and their particular struggles, while others prefer to choose a symbol that represents a specific condition, or that serves as a reminder to stay strong. There are so many mental health symbols you can choose from, and we’ve shared some common ones below.

1. SEROTONIN
Serotonin (aka the ‘happy chemical’) is a naturally occurring chemical that’s responsible for regulating mood, digestion, sleep, and more. Low levels of serotonin can cause mood instability, depression, and anxiety, and many people who suffer from one or more of these conditions opt to get a serotonin tattoo as a reminder that their struggles are not their fault, but rather a chemical imbalance in their brain.

2. SEMICOLON
Semicolon tattoos were inspired by Project Semicolon – a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention. A semicolon is used by writers when they choose not to end a sentence, and a semicolon tattoo is used to remind someone that their story isn’t over. Over time, the semicolon has been used to represent mental health awareness, including anxiety.

3. GREEN RIBBON
The green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health.

4. LOTUS FLOWER
In Eastern religions, the lotus flower is a symbol of enlightenment and rebirth. Lotus flowers grow in deep mud, so many people choose it as a tattoo design to symbolize how they’ve risen from hardship, and as a reminder that they can overcome anything.

5. BUTTERFLY
Butterfly tattoos are often used to symbolize beauty and transformation. The metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is gruesome, much like the transformation that occurs when going through something challenging in your life. The butterfly tattoo is sometimes used as a reminder that while change is messy, it makes us stronger and more beautiful.

6. ANCHOR
Anchor tattoos serve as a reminder to stay strong and never sink when life gets hard.

33 Mental Health Tattoos We Love

If you’re looking for mental health tattoos, we’ve included a mix of different ideas below, including words and phrases, and creative ways to incorporate different mental health symbols into beautiful designs that will remind you that you are stronger than your challenges!

If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, I hope these mental health tattoos help you find a design that has meaning to you and that serves as a reminder of your strength and resilience.

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33 Meaningful Mental Health Tattoos | If you're thinking of getting a tattoo and have been searching for a tattoo design that symbolizes one or more mental health challenges you or someone you love face, this post has tons of ideas to inspire you. From minimal word tattoos, to delicate butterfly designs, to specific mental health symbols like the semicolon, lotus flower, green ribbon for mental health, and unique serotonin symbol tattoo ideas, we've got something for everyone!

And if you’re looking for more tattoo inspiration, please follow our Tattoo board where we share all kinds of beautiful designs we find each day!

Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 9-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.

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