Can Botox® injections treat depression and anxiety? | Blog | Vie Aesthetics
Download our brochure Download our app
0 Items £0.00
Book Consultation
young woman celebrates a healthy lifestyle

Blog

Can Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?

18-09-2017 | Posted in: Face Treatments, Wellness & Lifestyle

“I found overall my mood was better on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “I had less problems with depression.”

How can Botulinum Toxin injections make you feel relaxed?

One obvious reason may be that after the effects of treatment have kicked in (3-10 days after the injection), frown lines are smoother and disappear, signalling that you are not angry anymore; forehead lines and “crow’s feet” soften and disappear showing less worry and more trust; muscles around the mouth relax and are lifted, revealing less of a grumpy mood and more of a smile.  Therefore, one would assume that people around the injected person would respond differently because of the more relaxed, friendly look, which then affects our interactions, feedback and consequently the injected person’s mood. That’s what I thought initially as well, as it seems very much feasible and straight forward.

What patients also relay when they refer to their more relaxed, even more happy, mood when they come back for their reviews, is that  they themselves feel happier when they look in the mirror and they see a happier, less grumpy, less sad, less tired, less angry person staring back. That would influence our psychology – I think we would all agree – and it would start our day on a brighter note, no doubt.

However, I felt that there is more to this than meets the eye – literally! I started looking for some research in this field and when I came across an article in the American Scientific Journal I thought BINGO! that must be it.

Try this experiment and see what you think...

We all have been told, and would agree, that our feelings shape our facial expressions. And we do consciously and unconsciously use our expressions to communicate how we feel. However, the reverse seems to be also true! Sounds crazy, right?

Well,  lets’s just do a very quick experiment:

  • write down in 1-3 words how you are feeling right now
  • take a pencil, hold it in your teeth for a minute.
  • write down: How are you feeling now?

Most people I have done this with find they feel lighter, more positive, even happier – that is because by holding the pencil in their teeth they have been mimicking a smile. It seems that smiling (even when imitated or fake) influences our mood in a positive way.

On the lookout for a scientific explanation for this, I turned to research into this field. I found that what Psychologists refer to as FACIAL FEEDBACK HYPOTHESIS basically suggests that our facial expressions influence our feelings. Although this may sound weird, it would explain the improvement in mood and the uplifting feeling that our patients have been experiencing after their worry lines and sad expression had gone due to their treatment with Botulinum Toxin (and also even after having had fillers and thread lifts).

Scientific findings

Among others, one study published in Cerebral Cortex Journal in 2008 looks at links between Facial Feedback and Neural Activity using insights from Botulinum Toxin-Induced Denervation of Frown Muscles. In other words, it is suggested that by imitating or creating (through Botulinum Toxin injections) expressions, we can influence emotions. Another study in the journal Psychological Science in 2010  even indicates that people who had facial muscles deadened with botox had difficulty processing negative emotions.

These data seem to align with my own observations and experiences with patients in our clinics. And I think we may not be far from Botulinum Toxin injections (in addition to helping us achieve a fresher, more radiant look) being also prescribed to treat and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

For Vivian Cooke, who is featured in the CBS article it seems to have worked and “she said she will continue to get Botox injections”.

Botox yourself happy!

I believe, it may take a while till we can claim with solid scientific proof that you can “botox yourself happy”, but  for the time being, I personally draw great satisfaction from the feedback by patients and from my own experience of their happier, more relaxed and positive outlook on life. That  makes me tick!
And remember to smile! Even when you don’t always feel like it – because you will,  eventually!
With love
Vicky Grammatikopoulou
Director of Vie Aesthetics 
With thanks to our medical trainee, Helena Liaka, for her contribution to this blog.
CLICK HERE to read the whole article in CBS NEWS.

Further reading / references

Back to our blogs
Have any questions?
+44 020 7164 6140 Submit Enquiry
Vie Aesthetics Clinics
Harley Street

2 Harley Street,
Marylebone,
London,
W1G 9PA, UK

Rayleigh

78 London Hill Road,
Rayleigh,
Essex,
SS6 7HP

Germany

Marktgasse 5,
71332 Waiblingen,
Germany

Accreditations

Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?
Can  Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox®) treat depression and anxiety?