Move over Prozac….here comes Botox!!!
Theories about Botox curing depression have circulated the psychological and scientific communities for years, but recent studies are beginning to prove them true. I am not one to quote Darwin, but as far back as the 17th century, Charles suggested that facial muscles aren’t only responsible for the expression of emotion, but also in our “experience and perception of it”.
Patrick Bowler, MD, studied this suggestion and argued the idea that if we “limit the illustration of our feelings, then we limit the physical response”. He found that what this means is that by reducing frowning, we in turn reduce feeling sad or angry. I knew it!!!! I have always said, “botox makes me happy!” (read botox makes me happy blog).
Investigators in Germany studied this theory and were able to show that treating the facial muscles involved in emotion with Botox eases symptoms of depression. At the American Psychiatric Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting, Professor Tillmann Kruger said this works because “our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions…treating facial muscles with Botox interrupts this cycle.”
So move over Prozac and Paxil, there is a new anti-depressant in town that won’t steal your libido, give you cotton mouth or prevent you from crying!!!
The research into the link between Botox and depression is new and exciting. It is interesting to understand the psychological impacts that Botox can affect. With these findings, Botox has the potential to be much more than a cosmetic procedure.
Kruger’s study consisted of thirty patients with high levels of chronic and treatment-resistant depression. The patients were randomly assigned to receive a single injection of Botox or a single injection of saline placebo. Six weeks after a single treatment, the Botox group had an average 47.1% reduction in depression symptoms versus 9.2% reduction in the placebo group. These finding have since been repeated in other studies- even a study close to home. Two doctors in Austin conducted a similar study and found supporting results.
A book has been released about this subject as well. Dr. Eric Finzi released, “The Face of Emotion: How Botox Affects Our Moods and Relationships,” to demonstrate through research and personal stories how Botox can be used to treat depression.
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