Posted: September 2nd, 2013

By: Portia Lovering

Botulinum (Botox) Injection – Treatment For Depression

There are many effective methods of treatment used for depression, which according to the Mental Health Foundation affects one in four of us in a year in terms of some kind of mental health issue.  Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder in the UK, with over 120 million people globally suffering from depression.


A fascinating fact is that within the glabellar region, (situated in between the eyebrows) are the corrugator and procerus muscles of the face, which in the instance of hyperactivity are associated with negative emotions such as sadness, anger and fear.  These emotions are also typical symptoms of depression and the muscles of the glabellar region has been named the “grief muscles”.


In 1872, a Charles Darwin formulated the “facial feedback hypothesis” which he recognised as an interaction and correlation between this particular muscle activity and human emotion.  More recently in 1992, there has been further data published to demonstrate that treating the glabellar area with Botulinum Toxin, more commonly known as Botox, alters the facial expression and as it smooths the lines away, it removes expressions appearing as anger, sadness and fear, which may impact emotional experience.


Many therapists have noted and reported enhanced emotional well being after treating patients in the glabellar area, with patients identifying that they have experienced a reduction in sadness and fear after the treatment.


In 2009, studies by Hennelotter revealed that using Botox injections to treat the glabellar area ceased the activation of the kimbic brain regions, indicating that feedback from this facial region regulated the processing of emotions.  He showed that, during imitation of angry facial expressions, reduced feedback due to Botox treatment weakens activation of the part of the brain implicated in autonomic manifestations of emotional states.  As people tend to mimic the emotional expressions of others, this could provide a potential physiological basis for the social transfer of emotion.


There have been clinical studies carried out in Germany and Switzerland using local psychiatric patients with moderate symptoms concluding that a single Botulinum (Botox) treatment significantly reduced signs.  It is not currently clear exactly how Botox decreases symptoms of depression, however it is thought that the paralysed facial muscles inhibit the feedback to the part of the brain responsible for producing the negative emotion.


Further studies and trials are being undertaken to collate evidence that Botox may be a safe and effective way to assist with the treatment of depression.  In addition to the wider uses of Botulinum Toxin such as migranes, excessive sweating, and bladder control, it has been used to investigate the use of the product in treating Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


To conclude, Botox treatment not only provides an aesthetic benefit to lift mood, but may regulate mood state too.


At Liverpool Cosmetic Clinic, we strongly advise you to only use a fully registered and experienced practitioner.


Call today to arrange an initial consultation for further advice on Botulinum Toxin (Botox) treatment: 07793 738456.

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