Did you know that Botox treats depression?

Commonly people think you are distraught so you frown. However, let’s consider: you make a sad face and it contributes to your sadness.  Our muscles are directly connected to our nervous system sending and receiving messages all day long.  So, it makes sense that if we frown our nervous system receives the message and releases chemicals directly related to your expression. We have for centuries told people fake it till you make it. Perhaps the layperson has been on to the novel idea of animation, expression and one’s ability to feel happiness. Many studies have been done that prove patients who were treated with Botox for depression have had significant alleviation of their depression.  It could very well be argued that the patient just had a liquid facelift so it makes sense that they would be less depressed.  If that is the school of thought then it continues to prove that self-care is essential in mental health and looking good equates to feeling good.  This is not Vanity this is medicine!  The studies that have demonstrated the significant value with the relationship of Botox and mood were very specific to which muscles should be targeted. Your face is like a complex maze of up and down, ying and yang, depression and elevation aka sad faces, happy faces, angry faces, and UH OH faces I’m out of here. Skilled providers will know exactly which muscles to treat with Botox for the treatment of depression.

Facial expressions associated with depression are not just the consequences of depression.  In fact, they are an integral component of the depressive disorder. Therefore with targeted treatment patients could benefit from Botox.  Who knows maybe this will be an entirely new approach to the treatment of clinical depression.  

William James, a famous professor of psychology at Harvard University said  “Refuse to express a passion, and it dies” in 1890 referring to a ‘facial feedback’ hypothesis.


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