YOUTH USING TATTOOS AS A PART OF HEALING PROCESS
Tattoos are prevalent in our society from the last 6000 years but it was not that popular before as it is now. We often see interesting tattoos on people's bodies having their own meanings and significance which can be of self-expression, exquisite art, a tribute to someone, or an act of defiance, and for some, it is also therapeutic. People have started to get tattoos associated with mental health which acts as a permanent reminder of how they have made passed through the struggles and continue their fights of the difficult time in their life by either getting a word or a symbol that inspires them and acts as an affirmation for the individual. For some of their tattoos act as an integral part of the healing process.
Tattoo artist Saurabh Pardeshi stells that a lot of people who come in the studio for getting a tattoo or majorly getting a reminder inked and also mark their milestones in their journey as the clients have gone through so many personal setbacks and sufferings that they get a symbol that is deeply personal to them. Another tattoo artist Pronoy Michael tells that during the pandemic period when there was so much uncertainty people were getting their thoughts expressed through tattoos. As we know that there are a lot of people suffering which lead them towards self-harm and many people have admitted that getting a tattoo for them is a way of relieving the pain which comes from bad events in their life.
We often see a semicolon as a tattoo for a lot of people, it was in the trend for a long time and still is. Amy Bleuel, a mental health advocate put the project Semicolon which had gained massive support in raising awareness about mental health. This symbol is metaphorically adopted to encourage the number of survivors of mental health issues. A semicolon in a sentence means that it would be further explained and it is not an end of the sentence and that is exactly what semicolon as a tattoo symbol means that the story isn't over yet to constantly remind them of this. Other people getting lotuses and dandelions as a tattoo symbolizes that they have recovered from the Past depression or self-harm and now are moving towards transformation towards life. Tattoos of anchor represent staying grounded. Mental health is coming to the forefront and people are not scared of getting a permanent mark on their bodies to put forth the struggles that they have been through in their life. Tattoo artists have also had a lot of clients in which they come up with their own doodles or mandalas that they want to get on their body so they get their own art transferred on their body.
A 26-year-old woman who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder had started self-harming at the age of 13 and had no way to cope with her destructive behavior and when she was finally out of the hospital she could not step out of her house in short sleeves as her scores were visible to others so to cover up her scars, she got tattoos all over her arms which made her happy because she could step forward into her life as a new person and admits that she hasn’t self-harmed and since feels so much confident in herself now. Another 26-year-old freelance writer from Pune who is battling depression used to write Warrier word almost everywhere and mostly in her doodles and then she finally decided to get a tattoo of this word on her shoulder which would constantly remind her that she was able to get through it before and she can fight through this now. Tattoos have been shown to increase self-confidence and self-image which overall improve their life.