#mentalstories – Tattoos & self-care – Beth, UK

In this blog, Beth from UK, shares her journey of mental health and how tattoos have helped that journey. This article in no way encourages people to get tattooed ( especially underage teenagers) but rather to promote acceptance and challenge the negative perception of tattooed people as well as the idea that tattoos are a synonym of self hate.   You can follow Beth on social media @inkedcounsellor

Hi guys! 

I’m currently studying psychotherapy and training as a person-centred counsellor. I have lived experience of anxiety & depression. I would like to specialise in counselling for anxiety and depression in children & adolescents in the future. 

For me personally, my tattoos have significantly improved my everyday mental health and well-being. To me, they are a creative expression of who I am as a human being. 

I have wanted to be heavily tattooed since I was a little girl. So by being able to be my true self, my confidence and anxiety has improved massively through my tattoos.  

In the past I have dealt with anxiety and really awful confidence issues regarding my body image. However, through my tattoos, there has been a positive change in relation to the way I view myself and my body. 

I now view my body as one big work of art in progress, and I love what I see because of my tattoos. The more tattoos I get, the more my confidence grows and therefore I do view tattoos as part of my healing process. They reflect who I am on the inside, and I am becoming the person I have always wanted to be since I was a little girl. Living authentically as my true self.

That’s why it often amuses me when people ask “is it a mask?” For me personally my tattoos are the opposite of a mask. They are my own creative way of expressing what’s on the inside and saying to the world “This is me. This is what my soul looks like. You’re welcome to see and get to know me.” I’m an open book in this regard.

Many different people from all walks of life compliment me on my tattoos, and I feel like they really help me connect with others as they are a good conversation piece in terms of what they mean to me and the impact they have. I find this can also encourage an open dialogue regarding mental health, anxiety, and what it means to be authentically “yourself”. 

Others have expressed to me that whilst they may lack the confidence at the moment to be their true authentic self due to the fear of judgement or not being accepted, it’s inspiring to see a woman like myself so open and bold with her personal style, and to have the confidence to be herself without fear. 

I hope this can inspire my future clients and others to be their true authentic self without fear too. Heart suit

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