An anxiety tattoo can be an extremely personal thing- so much so that someone looking at it would just see a smily face, a cartoon character, or a butterfly.
But it’s more likely a picture of something that assures the wearer, especially during times of anxiety and/or depression.
Some wearers choose a symbol, like the sideways heart for eating disorders. The semicolon is a well-known and popular symbol; it’s punctuation that signifies that a sentence is continuing so it reminds the wearer that their story is not over.
Another common symbol is “IGY6” – I’ve got your six, or your back. It’s a symbol for PTSD. If it’s teal, it signifies PTSD awareness. A black IGY6 means a sadness, maybe due to a suicide from PTSD.
There are a ton of phrases that wearers choose when getting a tattoo; “I’m Alive”, “Be Here Now,” and “just breathe” are popular. It’s like a mantra that the wearer can look at, remember, and just try to be.
A phrase from a loved one is touching, and if it is in the loved one’s handwriting, she may even hear it in that person’s voice – priceless.
A tattoo with a double meaning is purposeful in two ways. A person may read “I’m fine” on the wearer, but upside down, to the wearer, it reads “Save me”.
It’s a way to reach out to others who recognize and have past or current feelings of sadness or depression. But it also says I may seem ok from the outside but I may not feel that way in my head.