Tattoos Can Heal And Improve Mental Health

Some recent studies have even shown that people with depression and anxiety are more likely to be heavily tattooed

Art has always, in some capacity, been a medium of emotional healing and expression. 

Tattoos are no different. Where originally they were used as markings by our ancestors to differentiate between tribes, social status and as a means to record body counts, (and still do in some parts of the world), with the onset of modern civilisation they’ve taken on a more creative role. 

“Don’t be sad, go get a tattoo” is one of the most popular sound bites doing its rounds on social media at the moment. It is a prime example of how much more exposure the youth has currently received about mental health and wellbeing than our predecessors have in the past thousand years.

Just in the last 20 years the relevance of expressing oneself through body art has escalated exponentially. Be it through small semicolons, in support of mental health movements, minimal self love tattoos or elaborate custom designs that depict battles won with inner demons; tattoos have become an outlet of expression that is more permanent in nature. 

Some recent studies have even shown that people with depression and anxiety are more likely to be heavily tattooed. The process of getting a tattoo can cause a release of endorphins in response to the pain from the needling. It can also be percieved as a pleasure-seeking coping mechanism to deal with some forms of mental illnesses.

There’s a running joke in the community about tattoo artists being replacement therapists for their clients. And though they’ll never truly be able to fill the shoes of a board certified therapist, it isn’t uncommon for tattoo artists to become aware of a client's state of mind. So much of what they do revolves around telling stories their clients want to share. The visualisation or interpretation of that story may not even be for the world to understand, but it depicts an aspect of their life that they’ve come to terms with. And getting a tattoo about their journey gives them the closure that society, or interpersonal relationships can’t always provide. 

Some tattoos serve as reminders to never go back to old habits, some as a ray of hope to look fondly to the future. In either case, getting that tattoo becomes a pivotal core memory that one would always associate with the notion of moving on. Nothing is more empowering and positive than accepting parts of oneself an individual  previously may have been unable to.

At the end of the day tattoos are a creative, commemorative way of processing grief; of turning a dark phase of life on its heels into something that can welcome sunshine, of providing you with something to look forward to.

Besides, what better way to remind yourself that things will always get better, than with a permanent post-it on your self.

Tags assigned to this article:
Tattoos Mental Health


Around The World


India Aims To Launch A Global Initiative On Digital Health: Mandaviya

The global initiative aims to converge the global efforts for digital health and scale up digital solutions with use of cutting-edge technologies...

ART Fertility Clinics Collaborates With NDTV To Tackle Infertility Taboos

The campaign comprises the Introduction Show, the Expert Show, and the Roundtable Show, all of which will be available in both Hindi and English...

Science Behind Yoga Benefits On Overall Health

Yoga treats conditions like eating disorders and addictions as well as lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular con...

Agribid Partners With Mahadevasth Tech For Mental Health Awareness Among Farmers

Mental health issues have compounding effects of the following: crop failure; indebtedness; lack of social support; frequent disruptions in income; na...

Storytelling Established Itself As Mental Health Healer: Sudhanshu Rai

Various research show that storytelling proves to be a psychological treatment for various disorders and to improve cognitive health...

Health Ministry Issues Revised Guidelines In Wake Of Rising Covid Cases

Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has written to the state governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka to ...

Quick Connect With BW Wellness

Subscribe Our Newsletter