10 Tattoos That Cover Up Cutting Scars And Honor Your Struggle

Because we all deserve something beautiful in our lives.

cutting self harm tattoo tattoos cover up Buzzfeed

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 TeenHelp.com, 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, ProjectUROK.org 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.

1Stay strong.

self harm cutting depression tattoo TattooSquawk

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


2A beautiful lady for a beautiful soul.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Cosmopolitan

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


3Colorful shapes that bring peace to the mind.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Whicdn

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


4Love yourself.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Pinterest

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.

5A color wash tattoo that invokes happiness.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Buzzfeed

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.


6A flower pattern in black and gray is always a good choice.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Daily Mail

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

7A pink rose that shows hope for the future.

self harm cutting depression tattoo RedsTattoo

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


8Hang in there.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Imgur

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

9A hot air balloon full of dreams.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Vice

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


10I am. I am. I am.

self harm cutting depression tattoo Tumblr

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