Blogs from the Doctors
Back in October (in our blog ‘Why Just Any Botox® Just Won’t Do‘) we alluded to an alternative side effect to Botox® treatment in having the potential to alleviate depression. It may surprise you to know that a treatment so commonly associated with cosmetic enhancement can actually have an impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing.
Research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that the controlled use of botulinum toxin (or Botox® as we more commonly know it) in very specific areas of the face can actually have a positive effect on the symptoms of depression. Of course you may think, it goes without saying that if I look better I will feel better – but the really interesting thing that the results from this study (Facing depression with botulinum toxin: A randomized controlled trial) suggest are that improvements in mood or depressive symptoms could be achieved in patients who had been suffering from long-standing clinical depression and were not troubled by their own appearance – essentially people who would not have had Botox® for a cosmetic treatment as a matter of choice.
It rests on the old conundrum of the chicken and the egg. Is it the case that feeling despondent causes us to look sad, or could it be the reverse – that looking glum contributes to low mood? There is a study which suggests that whilst Botox® injections used to reduce frown lines on foreheads have the side effect of making us feel less sad, treatment of laughter lines can have the opposite effect. Dr. Michael Lewis (School of Psychology, Cardiff University) presented his findings to the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in 2013 and he says it’s all to do with ‘facial feedback’ where our facial expressions are inextricably linked to the emotions we feel.
Ultimately, as we’re always saying, we believe that Botox® should be used extremely carefully – and only in thorough consultation with each client. Our policy is “less is more” and as each face is so unique, it’s vital that practitioners understand facial composition and can accurately assess the areas where Botox® is needed. It is always our goal to ensure that you come away from Botox® treatment looking rejuvenated and fresh – not frozen and if it helps to banish the blues as well, then we think that’s a great side effect.