Tattoo shop helps people battle depression

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) -- Artists at a tattoo shop are taking a stand against suicide and depression.

All last week, the Cold Desert tattoo shop in Monroe, Louisiana was offering semi colon tattoos to support people battling depression.

Many of the people at the tattoo shop said they’ve struggled with depression. Martin Diaz said he battles PTSD and depression after serving time in the Army.

“You feel like your chest is pounding,” he said. “You feel like an elephant is just sitting there and everything is quiet and dark.” He said he’s had suicidal thoughts.

That’s why he got a tattoo that reads, “IGY6.” It stands for, “I got your six,” which is an Army phrase meaning, “I got your back.”

Diaz said it’s meant as encouragement for everyone battling depression, like Eleigha Dozier, who said she’s struggled with it since high school.

Diaz and Dozier are just two of the many people who participated in Project Semicolon. For people with depression, the semicolon symbolizes a pause in someone’s life instead of an end because the story of life will go on.

Diaz said depression is something you have to fight to beat every day.

“You have to find that one thing that pushes you to continue to fight,” he said. “For me it’s that I don’t want my kids to ever grow up without a father.”

Cold Desert is offering the semicolon tattoos for just $20. That money will go to an organization that helps veterans and their families.

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