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What does a semicolon tattoo mean?

Alice Domar
Psychology
None of my patients has gotten one of these tattoos, but from what I have read, semicolon tattoos are part of a movement aimed at focusing positive attention on mental illness. The concept was founded by Amy Bleuel, whose father committed suicide and who has struggled herself with mental health challenges. The meaning of the semicolon is to show that there may be a pause in a person’s story, but that’s not where the story ends.
Keith Roach, MD
Internal Medicine
Project semicolon seeks to bring awareness to the problems of mental illness, suicide and addiction. It seeks to bring a conversation and reduce the stigma associated with these common problems. The concept behind a semicolon is that it is a pause and not a stop. The story keeps going.
In writing, the use of a semicolon represents a choice to continue the sentence when the author could have stopped. The semicolon tattoo has come to represent a life that could have stopped, because of mental illness, pain or loss, but the person chooses to continue their life story. Just like a banner or a flag can serve as a symbol of victory or accomplishment, a semicolon tattoo can serve as a physical representation of personal victory, a choice to continue on and finish your story.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.