Tattoo Regret, Tattoo Dysphoria, and Hating Your New Tattoo.

Tattoo regret and grief are common. You are not alone.

If you've recently gotten a new tattoo, you may know that this time of joy and excitement can quickly turn into a heavier emotional experience. If you are upset, anxious, and depressed about your new tattoo, know that you are not alone.

Tattoo grief, which can be similar to body dysmorphia or tattoo regret, is a common feeling people have after getting a tattoo, especially if the tattoo is not exactly like they imagined (and even, in some cases, when it is) or if it is their first very visible tattoo.

What is tattoo grief?

If you hate your new tattoo or are having trouble coping with it, you may have tattoo grief.

Tattoo grief, also be called tattoo regret or tattoo dysphoria, is the feeling of panic, anxiety, depression, or shame that can come with getting a new tattoo.

For some people, their grief follows a somewhat linear process and resolves within a few weeks or months. However, for others, these feelings persist or even worsen over time.

Although many of the mental health professionals I have spoken with have not been able to pinpoint a specific diagnosis for this struggle with tattoos, the closest thing that seems to fit is body dysmorphia. However, it's important to understand that not everyone with tattoo regret or grief has body dysmorphia.

You have anxiety about your new tattoo.

You're looking for laser removal options or thinking about a cover-up tattoo almost immediately after getting your tattoo.

You're panicking that your tattoo is in a visible spot or is very dark or large.

You're worried people will judge you for your new tattoo.

You're Crying, depressed, disappointed, and upset after getting your tattoo.

You're having panic attacks.

You're trying to hide your new tattoo.

You're feeling uneasy, sick, or nauseous about your new ink.

YoU Don't know how to cope with your new tattoo or feel you have a bad tattoo.

Signs you may regret your new tattoo or have tattoo grief or tattoo dysphoria:

Tattoo grief is a thing!

Getting a tattoo can change your life, and not always in good ways. Some people have trouble coping with their new ink or have immediate regrets about their body art.

There are many reasons tattoo grief can manifest after getting permanent body art, and it is possible to lessen the anxiety and distress people experience after getting a new visible tattoo. As a tattoo griever myself, I work with people experiencing new tattoo grief and those with chronic tattoo grief over their ink. As with all kinds of grief, there is no timeline for experiencing it. Even if you got your tattoo years ago and are still struggling, I’m here to join you on your journey.

You don't have to navigate this experience alone.

You are not crazy for feeling this way!

For some of us, that new tattoo doesn't come with feelings of happiness or a sense of empowerment.

Instead, we grieve because the tattoo did not turn out like we expected, or we feel changed by the tattoo in ways we did not expect and cannot even explain sometimes.

I have struggled with tattoo grief on and off since 2018. I have learned with time and presence to integrate my ink into my life, even though the art is not always what I wanted or my feelings about it surprised me. I now help others do the same.

Find out what you really want

Do you actually want to accept and love your new tattoo, or would you be better off with tattoo removal or a cover-up? We explore your feelings together.

Identify Potential Trauma Surrounding the Tattoo

Many people with tattoo regret or tattoo dysphoria have experienced trauma that has created the foundation for their present feelings.

Create a Safe Space for You to Process Your Feelings

In many cases, laser removal or a cover-up tattoo does not help, so it’s essential to explore all possibilities, including acceptance, before making any significant changes to your body art.

How I can support you on your tattoo grief journey:

Let's talk.

Book a free 1-hour tattoo grief coaching session.

There’s no way around it—tattoos are a part of us now, and finding a way forward with this new art can feel overwhelming, especially if your tattoo is in a visible spot.

While I cannot “fix” your tattoo grief or make an unwanted tattoo go away, I’m here to help you gently unpack and explore your feelings around your new tattoo by providing a safe space to do so. You are not alone on this journey.

Book a Free 1-Hour Session

You are the expert of your life and your experiences.

Grief is an overwhelming experience with difficult emotions, but you don't have to navigate this rocky terrain alone.

Let’s talk about where you’re at, what you’re struggling with, and where you want to be. I’m listening.

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@jenn.sahar.israel