Botox in Depression: Risk or Chance?

Source: Scientific American

Botox is mostly used to reduce for its positive effects on wrinkles.
However, recent findings suggests that it may have both negative and positive effects in various psychiatric conditions…

1. Patients who have received botox treatment show reduced ability to interpret the emotions (anger,joy,sadness,….) of fellow human beings. This finding led to the hypothesis, that there is a bidirectional relationship of facial expression with actual feeling: When you are sad, you look sad. When you smile, you feel better…(even if you force yourself to smile).

2. Depressive Patients who received botox therapy seemed to get better than those who received placebo. Maybe its because the “vicious circle” of -> a. you fell bad -> b. your face muscles make a sad face -> c. this expression is registered by your brain and makes things even worse …. is disconnected and, as a direct consequence, gives your brain the chance to relax for a moment and think of better things….


3. However,

some disturbing results from animal models show that botox (a potentially lethal toxine) is transported to the brain after subcutaenous injection and may paralyze neurons there.


A personal comment:

Maybe the most important finding is:
Your facial expression has a direct impact on your feeling helpful site.
When you laugh or smile, you actually WILL feel better (even if at first, these feeelings are “forced” or not true) and vice versa.