Expressing oneself in a comprehensive manner is an arduous task. Self-expression in a concise and pictorial way is unique. Bodily stigmata such as piercings, tattoos, scarring, etc. are self-expression tools. In this reflection about tattoos, I look for an interaction of tattoos with mental health issues in the culturally and linguistically diverse country of India. As a student of psychiatry, I explore several examples of tattoos on people seeking mental health treatment, and I wonder how stigma and distress emanating from a mental illness affects self-expression. Culturally, India is an amalgam of varied customs practiced through its various states. I study how people seeking mental health support in a tertiary care center discuss their tattoos.

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