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Top 10 Depression Tattoos Ideas With Meaning

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Although there are certain risks associated with getting a permanent tattoo, if you’ve tested the ink on a small, inconspicuous place and had no reaction, it could be a meaningful way to remember how you handled depression. Keep reading to learn more about depression tattoos and see some ideas.

By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: February 1, 2023

Tattoos For Anxiety And Depression: Depression Tattoo Ideas

Tattoos About Depression – Depression Tattoos

Depress Tattoo: Although having depression can alter your life, this is typically because nobody’s path is always clear and easy. You may have endured difficult times or the end of a job or a romantic connection. Perhaps once-enjoyable activities have vanished from your life.

Depressed Tattoo: Your physical and emotional health may suffer, and it may also put a strain on your closest relationships. But don’t lose heart; if you’re reading this, you must have struggled with depression and persevered, which is commendable.

Although there are certain risks associated with getting a permanent tattoo, if you’ve tested the ink on a small, inconspicuous place and had no reaction, it could be a meaningful way to remember how you handled depression.

Why Do People Get Tattoos For Depression?

Having a tattoo commemorating your battle with depression might act as a personal or public expression of your success.

There is frequently a tremendous sense of accomplishment when you see a successful conclusion after facing a challenge head-on. It is understandable to want a tattoo to mark the occasion.

Perhaps you chose to get a depression tattoo to help those who also deal with the illness. For instance, the semicolon tattoo is well known to represent harmony among those who are dealing with mental health issues. (It denotes a continuation of your statement or story, not its conclusion.)

However, for some people, the impulsivity that occasionally goes along with depression may include depression tattoos.

According to Dr. Betsy Greenleaf, a woman’s wellness specialist in Howell Township, New Jersey, “it is not rare when someone is sad that decision-making and impulsivity go hand in hand.”

A 2016 study from Europe, however, discovered that tattooed people are just somewhat more impulsive than their uninked counterparts.

Are Depressing Tattoos Good For Mental Health?

According to Counselor Brittany Morris from Thriveworks in Chesapeake, Virginia, “Tattoos, like a lot of other things, are not intrinsically negative for anyone’s mental health.”

Morris says that tattoos might act as a potent reminder if you’ve overcome challenges associated with your battle with depression or adversity.

The following studies back up the benefits of tattoos on mental health:

  • In 2017, a small study discovered that respondents frequently saw tattoos as a method to exhibit their uniqueness.
  • Two years later, a survey found that 92% of those with tattoos were satisfied with their body art.
  • An earlier study from 2011 discovered that obtaining a tattoo was associated with increased body appreciation and self-esteem as well as a decrease in concern over one’s looks.

Potential ways tattoos can positively impact mental health include:

  • Demonstrating a sense of commitment
  • Encouraging camaraderie with others living with depression
  • Increasing awareness about mental health
  • Providing a means of self-expression and individuality
  • Boosting self-esteem and body image
  • Helping with the grieving process
  • Offering an outlet for emotional expression
  • Creating empowerment and a sense of pride
Although there are certain risks associated with getting a permanent tattoo, if you've tested the ink on a small, inconspicuous place and had no reaction, it could be a meaningful way to remember how you handled depression.
Although there are certain risks associated with getting a permanent tattoo, if you’ve tested the ink on a small, inconspicuous place and had no reaction, it could be a meaningful way to remember how you handled depression.

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Depression Fact Sheet

Depression Overview

Depression is a group of illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder that are connected to mood elevation or depression

Types of Depression

Clinical Depression: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Persistent depressive disorder: A mild but long-term form of depression.

Bipolar disorder: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

Bipolar II disorder:  A type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.

Postpartum depression: Depression that occurs after childbirth.

Depression Treatments

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Depression Statistics

One of the most prevalent mental diseases in the US is major depression. Some people who have serious depression may experience substantial impairments that impede or restrict their capacity to engage in important life activities.

21 million

An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health


The prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among adult females (10.5%) compared to males (6.2%).

Source: National Institute on Mental Health


The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (17.0%).

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Top 10 Depression Mental Health Tattoo Ideas: Women’s Depression Tattoos and Depression Tattoos For Men

Tattoos For Depression Awareness: Tattoos For Depression Survivors

Funny Depression Tattoos: It takes a lot of work to choose a depression tattoo that accurately represents your experience. Your achievements and tastes in art and symbolism are particular to you.

If you adore animals, you might want your tattoo to show that. Perhaps you enjoy mythology and would like your experience to be portrayed as an epic conflict between the Roman gods.

There are some common themes that may be helpful if you need assistance coming up with a depression tattoo that best suits you. Depression Tattoo Designs:

Depression Semicolon Tattoo
Best Depression Tattoos Small: Depression Semicolon Tattoo

1. Depression Semicolon Tattoo Ideas: Depression Tattoo Semicolon

Depression Semicolon Tattoo Meaning: Amy Bleuel’s 2013 Semicolon Project is where the Tattoo Semicolon Depression first appeared. Her goal was to uplift and inspire others who were struggling with mental illness.

Depression Symbol Tattoo: The meaning of the semicolon tattoo is similar to what a writer interprets a semicolon to mean: that there is still more to be written. Amy also wanted the semicolon tattoo to signify that a person with depression is making the decision to carry on.

2. Depression Semicolon Butterfly Tattoo: Tattoo Depression

For many who struggle with suicidal thoughts, depression, and other severe mental health issues, the straightforward semicolon tattoo serves as a flashing neon sign.

A butterfly with a strong semicolon symbol can suggest that the collector has “liberated” themselves from many of the problems that depression and suicidal thoughts cause.

They might be empowering reminders that despite everything that has happened in the past, the individual has been able to liberate themselves and start over, or they can be reminders that they must keep fighting the problems in order to remain standing, beautiful, and strong.

The semicolon has gained popularity as a permanent ink reminder that, despite major difficulties, people’s stories are still being told and that they should give themselves the chance to share their tales of grit and triumph over adversity.

Surviving Depression Tattoos: Overcoming Depression Tattoo (Tattoo For Depression And Anxiety)
Depression Survivor Tattoo
Anxiety Depression Tattoo: Depression Survivor Tattoo (Tattoo For Depression Recovery)

3. Depression Tattoos For Guys: Depression Awareness Tattoo

Depressing Tattoo Ideas: There are also countless alternatives if you prefer the concept of including words or text in your tattoo. A tattoo with the word “love” is a well-liked design that promotes the idea of overcoming depression and continuing to show oneself care.

Tattoo Quotes For Depression: Again, by including a semicolon somewhere in the design, you can more clearly associate this style of tattoo with having a meaning relating to depression. To do this, either incorporate the semicolon into the script of the word “love,” or find a location outside of the design for it.

Tattoos For Fighting Depression: Regardless of the choice you like, the word “love” followed by a semicolon will serve as a reminder that persistence and self-compassion are what matter most.

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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4. Small Depression Tattoos: Anxiety Depression Tattoos

Tattoos Of Overcoming Depression: The semicolon may be used with the word “hope” just as readily as you can use it with the word “love.” Most people who suffer from depression develop a false feeling of doom and find it difficult to believe that things will get better or that their current difficulties will never be solved.

A hope tattoo is special in this regard because it serves as a constant reminder to the owner that better days are undoubtedly ahead and that pressing forward is worthwhile. In addition, the hope tattoo and the semicolon together denote that pausing and restarting is OK.

Depression And Anxiety Tattoos
Small Tattoos For Depression: Depression And Anxiety Tattoos (Tattoo Symbol Depression)
Tattoo For Depression
Tattoo For Depression: Tattoos For Surviving Depression (Depressed Sad Tattoo Designs)

5. Overcoming Depression Tattoos: Tattoo Ideas For Depression

Combining the semicolon with a heart-shaped tattoo is another easy way to jazz up the design. There are countless ways to accomplish this, but one that has gained popularity is to make the semicolon a part of the heart’s outside border.

This is a statement about despair and would act as a reminder to love yourself and keep going. It is a simple yet lovely tattoo. Other choices include adding a tiny heart next to the semicolon or changing the semicolon’s dot to a heart.

6. Postnatal Depression Tattoo Ideas: Postpartum Depression Tattoo

Postpartum Depression Tattoos: Excitation, delight, dread, and other strong emotions can all be sparked by the birth of a child. But it can also lead to depression, which you might not expect.

Tattoos About Surviving Depression: After giving birth, most new mothers endure postpartum “baby blues,” which frequently include mood changes, crying bouts, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. The first two to three days after delivery are when baby blues typically start, and they can linger for up to two weeks.

Depression Inspired Tattoos: Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a more severe and pervasive type of depression that some new mothers endure. Because it can begin during pregnancy and persist after childbirth, it is sometimes referred to as a peripartum depression. Postpartum psychosis is a severe mood illness that can occasionally appear after childbirth.

Depression Symbol Tattoos
Tattoos For Depression And Anxiety: Depression Inner Demons Tattoo
Depression Quote Tattoos
Small Depressing Tattoos: Depression Quote Tattoos (Depression Meaningful Tattoos)

7. Depression Quotes Tattoos: Depression Quotes For Tattoos

Inspirational Tattoos For Depression: Many depressed people don’t have faith that things will get better. In that it suggests a better future for those who are depressed, a tattoo with the word “believe” is comparable to the hope tattoo. A believe tattoo may serve as a constant reminder to hold on to one’s convictions and to halt and seek direction if one is feeling lost for those who have strong spiritual convictions.

Tattoos Inspired By Depression: The believe tattoo is made powerfully symbolic of the need for people with depression to hold on during dark times and to believe that there is light on the other side when it is combined with the semicolon.

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8. Fighting Depression Tattoo: Depression Sleeve Tattoo

Depression Tattoo Meaning: There are as many variations on warrior tattoos as there are wearers. Any historical warrior, such as a Roman centurion or a Japanese samurai, may be taken into consideration, but don’t forget the numerous fictional and mythological warriors as well. Tattoos of warriors frequently draw attention to their unique armor and weaponry.

Depression Tattoo Ideas For Men: For your design, there are several warriors to pick from. There are numerous different kinds of warriors, including samurai, celestial warriors, Aztecs, Greek warriors, Roman centurions, Vikings, and Celts. Each type may be equipped with the proper equipment, including armor, katana, shields, spears, and swords.

Fighting Depression Tattoos
Men’s Depression Tattoos: Fighting Depression Tattoos (Depression Tattoo Sleeve)
Depression Tattoo Quotes
Depression Anxiety Breathe Symbol Tattoo: Depression Tattoo Quotes (Tattoo For Fighting Depression)

9. Manic Depression Bipolar Tattoo Designs: Simple Depression Tattoos

Anxiety And Depression Tattoos: While a tattoo with the word “breathe” may be more frequently linked to anxiety, it can also be a wonderful choice for people who suffer from depression or a mood condition in addition to an anxiety illness. The semicolon and the word “breathe” both emphasize the value of pausing to gather your thoughts and replenishing your energy before beginning anew.

Tattoos About Overcoming Depression: A “breathe” tattoo may serve as a reminder to focus on your breathing as a strategy to manage your mental health if you have trouble being mindful and present.

10. Depression Anxiety Tattoos

Small Tattoo Depression: Not a fan of cats? You may simply swap out the cat whiskers for paw prints while getting your semicolon tattoo if you prefer canines instead. When you’re feeling down, this is a cute way to dress up the conventional semicolon and also bring back memories of your favorite fuzzy friend.

Tattoo Regret Depression: Some animals can be more than just companions; they can also offer emotional assistance. If you’ve never heard of an emotional support animal, it is a pet that has been approved as being important for your emotional health and is granted special rights, such as the ability to accompany you wherever a typical pet is not allowed.

Tattoos About Fighting Depression: The paw print and semicolon can be the ideal tattoo for you if you suffer from depression and have an emotional support animal.

Tattoos That Represent Depression
Depression Sad Tattoo: Tattoos That Represent Depression (Depression Trapped In My Mind Tattoo)

Post Tattoo Depression

After having a tattoo, people frequently alter their minds. In fact, according to one survey, 600 participants confessed they regretted getting at least one tattoo. The good news is that you can take steps to reduce your risk of regret both before and after having a tattoo. Furthermore, you may always get it taken off. Find out which tattoos individuals regret the most, how to reduce your risk of regret, how to manage regret anxiety, and how to get rid of a tattoo you no longer desire.

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Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success.  A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

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It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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