Tattoos symbolizing mental health awareness

Last year, I got a semicolon tattooed on my inner ankle.

A semicolon symbolizes a sentence you could have ended but choose not to. The reason I got this tattoo was to remind myself that I'm part of a huge community of people that are going through the same thing. It's my badge of pride for getting through everyday and a reminder from my healthy self when I'm having a panic attack that this feeling won't last.

A few months later I got a tattoo of the words "Love Always" on the side of my foot." Love" is in my dad's handwriting and "always" is in my mom's. I got this because, when I'm having a panic attack, I feel alone and like no one loves me. At times like this, this serves as a reminder that, no matter what happens, I know there are two people who will always love me.

That's what I love about tattoos (to my parents' dismay) -- that it can serve as a reminder that you carry around with you everyday. For me, it's a reminder to be strong, to survive, and that things will get better. It's a reminder that I am not alone.

Model/Actor/Director Travis Deslaurier has a tattoo on his upper arm that reads "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" and a tattoo on his forearm that says "Time to shine," which he got when he felt he needed to change his life.

He said this about tattoos: “Tattoos means a lot to me. I had a really tough upbringing. … I was struggling with depression. ... Tattoos helped me get through that. It helped me repair myself through all the struggles of life. … It’s like being reborn again." 

Here are more tattoos that people have gotten that symbolize overcoming their mental illness:

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