Got those moody blues? Depression can be a b*tch, but thankfully there's always a great solution: Botox! While it may make you look exactly like a lifeless plastic doll, Botox can also help you deal with your depression. An article in the Scientific American discussed a study in which participants were shot up with Botox injections between their eyebrows--right in the muscles that controlled facial expressions. The botulinum toxin paralyzed the facial muscles, and interrupted the signals sent from the muscles to the brain. Basically, it stopped the brain from picking up negative emotion signals sent by the frowny muscles of the forehead and face. Study author M. Axel Wollmer, a psychiatrist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, believes the treatment
“interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions.”Past studies have shown that Botox impairs people's ability to identify others' feelings, and the new finding adds more evidence: the muscles of the face are instrumental for identifying and experiencing emotions, not just communicating them.
Symptoms of depression were down 47% after just six weeks, and the depression remained low during the entire 16 weeks of the study. It's all the result of the paralysis of the facial muscles, which not only express negative emotions, but also convey them to the brain. That's right, if you're feeling blue, it may be time to get a facelift!