17 Disney Tattoos Inspired by Mental Health Journeys
It’s no secret that Disney movies aren’t just for kids. With their relatable characters and messages of hope, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who does’t have a favorite Disney darling.
For many people living with mental illness, Disney movies are a source of comfort and support in recovery. Many people even carry these messages with them wherever they go — in the form of tattoos.
Whether your tattoo helps you “paint with all the colors of the wind” or “just keep swimming,” having a permanent reminder from your favorite Disney movie can be comforting in times when you’re struggling with your mental health. We wanted to know what kind of Disney tattoos people with mental illness have, so we asked members of our Mighty community to share a photo of a Disney tattoo they have inspired by their mental health journey.
Here’s what they shared with us:
1. “‘Frozen’ stuck with me because I really felt the parallels in Elsa’s story with my own. I got her to remember everything the movie said to me — it’s OK to be who I am, even with my own ‘darkness’ inside, letting it stay inside doesn’t do anyone any good. Love and compassion will lead you home.” — Josh B.
2. “I got this because of my battle with borderline personality disorder. It’s so fitting — one minute I know who I am, the next I have no clue of my identity.” — Shannon P.
3. “I got this as a reminder that even when I tried to take my life and nearly died… my family is there. Any time my mental illness feels like it’s winning this reminds me I’m not alone.” — Katie E.
4. “I have Jack and Sally on my hips. The movie has always motivated me to push through the darkness for my happiness like Jack did. Nobody thinks about it, but [I believe] he was depressed. He pushed through and found his happiness and his true love.” — Kristi T.
5. “I love my rose. It is OK to be ‘odd’ in the world’s view, and on my low days, it is good to have uplifting reminders to combat the negativity that drowns me.” — Carrie L.
6. “[This tattoo is] a reminder not to let my anxiety and depression take over my life. Also, just like the film, you sometimes have to experience sadness along the way in order to experience joy.” — Lyndsey M.
7. “This is the tattoo I got with my daughter’s name. It’s partially covering a scar from attempted suicide. She and her silliness like Minnie Mouse have helped me overcome so many hurdles. It’s a daily reminder I can be more than my depression, I can be a great mother to my Minnie daughter.” — Aspen E.
8. “I have major depressive disorder and recurrent suicidal thoughts. It serves as a reminder that ‘adventure is out there’ and while my journey will take unexpected turns, something good will be waiting at the end. Tattooed skin discourages self-harm [for me].” — Sherrie J.
9. “My Pocahontas tattoo was the first part of my sleeve. The quote ‘choose your own path’ for me, means I can do just that, regardless of where I’ve come from, what I’ve been through and any mental health issues I may battle. I am the one who decides where I’m going, not my past or any mental health diagnosis.” — Jazmin F.
10. “My tattoo not only helps with my depression, it’s also a memorial for my Mom. I first became suicidal after my Mom passed when I was 13. My family believes she visits as a hummingbird, and both on her birthday and anniversary of passing, I came across items with Flit represented. I knew then this was the tattoo I needed. When I’m stuck in my depression, and all I want is to talk to my Mom, this reminds me she is always with me.” — Tasha C.
11. “[This is] my Disney-themed semicolon. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety over the years and despite being young still, I’ve lived through so much. I struggle to remember things will be OK and that I’m braver than I think and stronger than I know, but Disney has always reminded me if I look into my heart, I can find the courage and strength I need to keep fighting.” — Sarah O.
12. “Eeyore’s been my favorite since I was a kid. Everyone accepts Eeyore for what he is and never tries to change him.” — Stephanie H.
13. “[It’s] just a daily reminder to breathe when it all seems like too much and to live life with no worries.” — Jolyn T.
14. “I [struggle with] severe depression and anxiety. At a young age of 10, I was already contemplating suicide. Until recently, I haven’t gotten proper help as I have always had my support with me: my dog. When she passed away, I was stuck facing everything without her and my world came crashing down. I hit a low I’ve never hit before. I started telling myself to ‘just keep swimming,’ like my girl did. Despite her health issues throughout her life, nothing could ever ever ever get her down. For such a small being, she had so much bravery. She could always succeed at keeping my spirits up, and although she couldn’t talk, she could give me support no one else could ever give me. I got this tattoo on my wrist where I could easily see it, with her actual paw prints to remind me to just keep swimming when I need support.” — Caitlin A.
15. “I have four Disney tattoos but this one in particular never fails to make me smile even on my worst days. Disney is my escape when I’m having a major depressive episode. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in particular grounds me when my mind gets away from me and I wouldn’t have been able to fight my illnesses without Disney.” — Ciara L.
16. “It says ‘just keep swimming.’ My husband passed away recently, and it’s become one of my favorite tattoos as I try to swim without him.” — Grayce R.
17. “I have struggled with anxiety ever since I was a child and have always connected with ‘The Lion King.’ I got this tattoo to remind myself during times I may be overwhelmed, I need to remember who I am and it will be OK.” — Sarabeth N.
Do you have a Disney tattoo?