10 Tattoos That Cover Up Cutting Scars And Honor Your Struggle

Photo: Buzzfeed
cutting self harm tattoo tattoos cover up

As someone who's suffered with mental illness since forever, it shocks me how naive I was about cutting as a teenager.

I remember being in ninth-grade gym class in the beginning of September, when it’s freezing in the morning but hot and humid by noon. I had gym last period, which meant the sun blasted on the track field as we were forced to walk it.

One of the older girls in my class wore a sweatshirt, her head covered by a hood, and walked the required number of laps before falling down by the prison-like gate that surrounded the school.

I stared at her in disbelief; I was having major hot flashes, convinced I was going through early menopause, and here she was, covered like we were in the middle of a snowstorm. Not until YEARS later did I learn that she was "cutting" herself and had attempted suicide several times

I wasn’t even sure I knew what a "cutter" was. And for those who may be insure of what it is, according to the Mayo Clinic, cutting is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself … this type of self-harm is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration. 

There are so many ways to deal with the pain of depression, but for most who do cut, there’s a certain feeling of release when the needle or blade actually touches your skin.

If you haven’t experienced the kind of pain that will bring you to self-harm, then you can’t understand the mindset. I say that from experience. I’ve been down the spiraling well of depression, and you will do ANYTHING to make the pain stop.

According to, it’s estimated that one in every 200 girls (between the ages of 13 and 19) will engage in some form of self-harm and that number is only rising. What’s even more alarming is that those who cut and don’t seek treatment will continue to do so into their adult years. 

With the proper therapy (and medication, if you so choose), it CAN get better.

The best part is, there are now so many resources for ANYONE who is suffering and wishes to lay low until you’re ready to make the first step to therapy. For teens and young adults, is a wonderful place to see others going through exactly what you are, and how they are coping and healing. For adults, there’s Mental Health Recovery, along with a bajillion other sites on Google that will show you REAL people going through REAL issues and making REAL strides.

Even though some may not have physical scars showing what they’ve endured, others do. YourTango has compiled a list of beautiful, inspiring tattoos that cover the scars of cutting, and give renewed hope to those suffering. We hope you find something here that helps you.

Stay strong.

Photo: TattooSquawk
self harm cutting depression tattoo

These are words that may seem difficult to live by at first, but you ARE stronger than you think.

A beautiful lady for a beautiful soul.

Photo: Cosmopolitan
self harm cutting depression tattoo

A gorgeous piece of art (like this) on your skin can be the difference between depression and inspiration.

Colorful shapes that bring peace to the mind.

Photo: Whicdn
self harm cutting depression tattoo

Having bright colors to look at can increase your happiness. And this artwork shows how things that are different can fit together beautifully.

Love yourself.

Photo: Pinterest
self harm cutting depression tattoo

It may take time to actually love yourself, but you are the friggin' BEST at being you; don't forget to give yourself some kudos.

A color wash tattoo that invokes happiness.

Photo: Buzzfeed
self harm cutting depression tattoo

This tattoo is abstract, beautiful and not totally understood by everyone. Sound a little bit like you? Plus: A little splash of color goes with everything, including LIFE.

A flower pattern in black and gray is always a good choice.

Photo: Daily Mail
self harm cutting depression tattoo

Flowers can represent freedom, including freedom from sadness and dark thoughts. Embark on your new journey of love and laughter.

A pink rose that shows hope for the future.

Photo: RedsTattoo
self harm cutting depression tattoo

Soft and beautiful, like your soul. And sometimes a small touch of pink is all you need to remember how wonderful life can be.

Hang in there.

Photo: Imgur
self harm cutting depression tattoo

Because even when you were at the end of your rope, you found the strength to go on.

A hot air balloon full of dreams.

Photo: Vice
self harm cutting depression tattoo

What a wonderful way to represent your journey to a new and happy life. You WILL soar to great heights.

I am. I am. I am.

Photo: Tumblr
self harm cutting depression tattoo

There's no better way to show that you are alive than by a statement declaring, "I am."