How Botox Can Boost Your Mood
Botulinum toxin (or Botox as it’s more commonly known) is typically understood as a neurotoxin that can be injected into your skin and temporarily paralyse your muscles, acting as an anti-wrinkle treatment by effectively erasing any lines or wrinkles that appear. While this wasn’t what it was originally approved for, it has become it’s more commercial use over time.
Since it’s conception as a treatment for tics, spasms and sweating the noticeable side effect of reduced wrinkles led to a whole new cosmetic use for Botox, so that it was finally approved for this in 2002. 16 years later and botox is used frequently in a multi-billion dollar business.
How could botox help with your mood?
As with any treatment like this, there are continual discoveries for what it can offer us, and new results have people thinking that botoxin could treat anxiety and depression. You might be wondering how a cosmetic procedure could help to treat your mental health, but it’s partly all to do with the effects of the ‘look good, feel better’ philosophy. Part of the appeal of having botox treatments is the feeling of seeing your reflection improve slightly after the treatment.
But it’s more than that – doctors have proven that with the facial feedback hypothesis (created by Charles Darwin himself) using the muscles that form your smile play a part in the way your brain evaluates your mood. So if the muscles that you use when you’re anxious or annoyed are relaxed, then you shouldn’t feel the same intense emotions as you usually would.
The Journal of Psychiatric Research has published the results of studies that have concluded that botox is a viable way to start to treat depression. A study was conducted in 2003 that used patients all diagnosed with depression who hadn’t had botox treatment before and weren’t particularly bothered with lines on their face. The patients were split into two groups, with one group being treated with botox and the other with a placebo. Results showed that over 6 weeks there was a significant improvement in the symptoms of the group who had been injected with botox over the placebo group. The natural conclusion was that it is possible to influence your mood by restricting your faces ability to frown.
Where will the results go from here?
The results from these studies have been deemed convincing enough that Allegan (the maker of botox) has placed the study of botox as a treatment for depression into phase III clinical trials – which is the final phase for FDA approval in the USA. This means that botox injections as a treatment for mental illnesses could soon become normalised, and make a world of difference to anyone interested in pursuing this treatment.
If you’re interested in using botox injections as a treatment for your anxiety or depression you should speak to your GP before contacting a practitioner, as they should be able to give you reliable advice on where your treatment should lead.
22nd November 2018
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