When most people think about BOTOX® treatments, they think about these treatments in the light of making themselves look younger. BOTOX® has been used for decades to successfully reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. When used in this way, BOTOX® blocks the signals that are sent to the nerves of the muscles in the face, relaxing the muscles and preventing the expressions that create dynamic wrinkles. However, psychologists are starting to understand a link between using BOTOX® and treating depression.
You may ask yourself how this works. Well, most people appreciate the fact that when they feel upset, it shows in their facial features. You can look at a person and tell that they are distraught. This is an obvious part of life. However, psychologists are asking if this can work the other way around. That is, when a person looks sad, does that affect the way they feel on the inside?
Looking at it from this angle completely changes the way that people think about a sad mood or treating depression. The truth is that many people intuitively think that if a person just smiles more and looks happier, it is going to have an impact on the way they feel.
Scientists at the hospital of the University of Basel Switzerland, in conjunction with medical schools in Germany, decided to put this idea of looking happy to make yourself feel happy to the test. Later, they published the results in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. One of the things that they found is that if they injected BOTOX® into the muscles that a person uses when they are sad or when they have a low mood, the person experiences an alleviation of their depression.
In their study, they injected BOTOX® into the Glabellar region of the face. That is the area that is right above your nose and right between your eyes. BOTOX® is usually injected in this area when treating frown lines. What they found is that BOTOX® can cheer a person up. This means that the effects of a facelift or other cosmetic procedures are not just aesthetic, but have an emotional impact on the person.
Interestingly, the people who were subjects in this study were individuals who had been dealing with diagnosed clinical depression for more than 16 years. Some of them had episodes of depression that lasted for months. Another interesting fact about this group is that on their own, these individuals had no interest in altering their facial appearance.
In the study, BOTOX® was injected into 15 patients, and then 15 other patients were given a placebo of just saltwater. Remarkably, over 47 percent of the patients who received the BOTOX® injections had an improvement in their mood and a reduction in their depression level after just one injection.
Scientists are just beginning to research the effects that our facial muscles have on the way we feel. However, the research is very promising and points to BOTOX® playing an important role in treating depression. To learn more about the benefits of BOTOX®, set up a consultation at ProMD Health in Baltimore and Arlington. We will be happy to evaluate your facial features and help you determine if this injectable is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.