15 Moving Depression Tattoos (A list of ideas)

In this brief guide, we will look at some depression tattoos and ideas on what designs tattoo artists recommend as a signifier of getting over depression.

Depression Tattoo 1

A very popular symbol for tattoos about depression is the semicolon, and this is because of the charity for individuals suffering from depression or those who have attempted suicide or have suicidal thoughts.

This tattoo about depression is colorful, which is something that can be nice to see when someone is suffering from depression or just coming out of it because the shade typically associated with depression is gray.

In fact, any sort of color in the life of someone suffering from depression can be very good because research has indicated that people suffering from depression may be more likely to see or pay attention to shades of gray.

Additionally, the tattoo also has birds flying away which is commonly associated with freedom and lightness of spirit, which many people might associate with freedom from depression and it can be uplifting.

Depression Tattoo 2

This tattoo about depression is very artistic in nature and many times when someone wants to get a tattoo about a certain theme like depression, the tattoo artist may be able to work with them and tell them what they can do, especially if the person is not very creative and is having trouble coming up with ideas.

This tattoo is meant to signify freedom from negative thoughts and the plants and flowers around the brain may be made that way to imply growth and development, which are always good things to see as inspiration when trying to cope with depression.

Depression Tattoo 3

This depression tattoo is very meaningful and precise in the sense that it is a chemical structure for the neurotransmitter Serotonin, which has been proven to be one of the factors in the causes of depression.

It has been observed that individuals suffering from depression often have lower levels of serotonin and most antidepressants also seek to correct this imbalance, so this tattoo might be a great idea for someone suffering from depression or just coming out of it.

If you are enjoying these depression tattoos then you may enjoy these depression drawings.

Depression Tattoo 4

This depression tattoo features a line from a popular song by the band The 1975, called “Paris”, and it might be a really great idea for a tattoo for depression.

The lyrics around it go something like this:

“Mr. Serotonin Man, lend me a gram

You call yourself a friend?

I got two left feet and I’m starting to cheat

On my girlfriend again”

Depression Tattoo 5

This depression tattoo may be a great idea for a harry potter fan that is suffering from depression, as the “Expecto Patronum” spell is used to chase away characters called “Dementors”, which according to J. K. Rowling, the author, were based on the concept of depression.

Rowling herself has struggled with depression, and she said she described the dementors as soul-draining demon-like structures because that is what she felt like, which makes this spell the perfect one for a depression tattoo.

Depression Tattoo 8

This depression-related tattoo belongs to a man called Curtis, who is a recovering alcoholic, currently sober for seven years and six months. 

He designs all of his tattoos himself or by his daughter, and about this one he says:

“This tattoo on my left tibia is the symbol for chaos (eight spears pointing out from the center) wrapped with an Ouroboros, (a snake eating its own tail). One of the spears contains the Schwarzschild Radius, or the event horizon surrounding a black hole.

In the simplest terms, this tattoo reminds me to never get sucked into the endless void of chaos. It helps me be more aware of situations and people that may affect me negatively.”

Depression Tattoo 9

Many sufferers of depression may often have self-harm scars, and they may feel horrible about them later when they have gotten better, and for this Joice Wang of Soho’s Grit N Glory Tattoo Boutique in NYC developed a whole pattern of exquisite, delicate floral tattoos.

She gives away a tattoo of self-harm cover-up every month for free in return for a donation to one of the three mental health charities she supports regularly. 

Joice says, “The main thing I hope everyone can take away from this is to turn what hurts you into something beautiful, however, you may interpret that. I also have depression and anxiety and I try to channel that into becoming the best artist I can and to try to make people happy with my humor and charity work.”

Depression Tattoo 10

This is another tattoo that the artist Curtis we mentioned earlier has, and he says about this one, “This was designed by my daughter when she was 8. She’s now 12. It is a cat/bat head thing, and within the cat head, there are three smaller heads. She explained it was a representation of my moods before I learned to maintain my behavior. One is good, one is evil, and the one with the third eye is duality, combining the two and offering the best of both. I thought it made sense, as dealing with anxiety and other issues often means you struggle to maintain a balance.”

Depression Tattoo 11

This tattoo for depression is the simplest one there is and also the most common one most people get.

This tattoo depicts the symbol of depression and suicide as shown by the charity called Project Semicolon.

According to the founder of the charity, Amy Bleuer, “The semicolon was chosen because it represents where a writer could have ended a sentence but didn’t. You are the author, the sentence is your life. This symbol conveys the message that your story is not over, your journey continues.”

Depression Tattoo 12

The depression tattoo shown above belongs to a woman called Liz, who describes the tattoo as such, “[My tattoo] was inspired by a Buddhist symbol of an Unalome. The spiral represents chaos, the loops, the twists, and the turns [represent] life, [and] all lead to harmony. I live with bipolar disorder and every day is a struggle. I needed a reminder that harmony is possible, to keep fighting.” 

Depression Tattoo 13

This is another very unique depression tattoo; it stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5) code for depression.

According to the DSM 5, there are the core symptoms of depression:

  • “Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.”

Depression Tattoo 14

This is another tattoo that was shared by someone on a popular social media forum, who relates it to their mental health struggle, and gives this description:

“My name means ‘the white hawk,’ and the hawk represents excellence and achievement. It’s an angel of the animal community and it soars above all others. The black snake represents the [struggles] of being a black person. Snakes are stereotyped as sinister, evil, untrustworthy, parasitic … and black people have been portrayed this way by racists and, to some degree, by ourselves.

The reason why the hawk and snake are fighting is because the things that make you great are always in conflict with the things that make you human. Each of us has unlimited potential, but we are judged by trivial things like our skin color, gender, or who we choose to love and/or worship. [The tattoo is a reminder of] this depressing conflict within a person trying to function in society.”

Depression Tattoo 15

The Green Ribbon is often considered to be a symbol of bipolar and other mood disorders and may make for another great depression tattoo.

This symbol was decided in Mental health Awareness month and the idea was to promote open conversation about mental health, and challenges the associated stigma that sometimes comes with it.

If you have found these depression tattoos important then you may find these depression monologues interesting too.


In this brief guide, we looked at some depression tattoos and ideas on what designs tattoo artists recommend as a signifier of getting over depression.

Depression is very difficult for anyone and getting over it must be celebrated in some way, so if someone feels the need to express this victory with some tattoos, or they just want to get tattoos as a reminder of how far they have come, they should absolutely do so, especially if it helps their recovery.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

If you liked the tattoos about depression that we have shared in this blog or you have ideas of your own you would like to share, please feel free to reach out to us with your suggestions or comments, or any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Depression tattoos

What is the tattoo symbol for depression?

The tattoo symbol for depression is a semicolon (;), and this symbol is used often in tattoos as a message of affirmation and solidarity for people suffering from depression or those with suicidal ideation or other mental health issues.

The semicolon is used as a tattoo symbol for depression for suicide more than anything else as it signifies the continuation of a sentence after a somewhat long pause, rather than ending a sentence at all.

Is there a symbol for mental health?

Yes, typically the symbol for mental health is considered to be the Monarch Butterfly.

This is a symbol for mental health because the early stage of the development of a Monarch butterfly involves a cocoon-like condition, which may be considered to be a representation of depressed and withdrawn feelings which people affected by mental illness may experience.

Why is a semicolon a symbol for depression?

A semicolon is a symbol for depression because according to Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project semicolon, “The project was started by asking others to draw a semicolon on their wrist to show support. The semicolon was chosen because in literature a semicolon is used when an author chooses to not end a sentence.”

How tattoos affect your mental health?

It has been found that tattoos can greatly improve the quality of your mental health.

Many people get tattoos that represent their struggle with mental health issues so that they may have a reminder of how dar they have come and so they may be inspired to continue on their path to betterment.

What color is associated with depression?

The color associated with depression in most places is a shade of gray, and according to the researchers who have come up with the Manchester Color Wheel, used to get a sense of what pigment people often associate with their mental health condition, people suffering from depression or anxiety most often seem to associate with shades of gray.

What is the flower for mental health?

The flower for mental health is considered to be chrysanthemums.

According to an Award-winning flower shop owner Sian, “Chrysanthemums have been shown to lessen symptoms of worry and stress, and when taken as a tea, this flower cools and relaxes our body. Whether in the workplace or in a home office, flowers and plants are proven to improve performance.”

What does a tattoo of a teardrop mean?

In some places, a tattoo of a teardrop refers to a lengthy prison sentence, and in other places, it may mean that the person who has the tattoo has committed a crime that lead to the loss of life. 

When the tattoo is only an outline or a teardrop, it is said to mean that the person was involved in an attempted crime that could have lead to the loss of life, or it could mean that an inmate’s friend was lost and they are seeking revenge.

On a different note, in the popular show Game of Thrones, a teardrop tattoo was used to signify that a woman was in the trade of selling her body.







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