Botox Blues

It seems that people across the planet are hooked on Botox to make themselves look younger and in particular to eradicate frown lines and crows feet around their eyes, but, although the physical aspects of this treatment might seem great if you’re feeling down in the dumps about your looks, could it just be that, in fact, the treatment is making you depressed?

According to a Cardiff (Wales UK) University psychologist, and certainly I can see the merit in his assertions, he believes Botox treatment could bring about the onset of depression.

The doctor, from the the School of Psychology in Cardiff, is of the opinion that these Botox injections affect the strength of the muscles around the eyes which are the key ingredient for smiling.  It therefore follows that if you look happy then,  in turn you  feel happy.  Therefore, if you’re unable to show happiness in your face then this will ultimately lead to you feeling unhappy.

The doctor has not just come to this conclusion without some evidence.  He has, at the moment, based his evidence on a very small study of 25 subjects and looked more deeply into whether facial expressions affected their emotions.

He said at a recent conference in Yorkshire (UK) that reducing wrinkles by Botox injections affects the way we feel and the way we “see the world”. His initial study looked at the psychological impact on reducing frown lines on foreheads via Botox injections and came to the conclusion that those patients who underwent the treatment felt happier because they could no longer frown.  He then looked into the effects of Botox injections around the eyes which eradicated crows feet and came up with completely opposite results.

The doctor got the patients to complete a questionnaire and discovered that the levels of depression were higher in the “crows feet category” than in the “frowning category”.

From this, he deduced that because the Botox prevented the patients from being able to “smile” with their eyes it was in fact causing sadness.

It certainly seems to be a logical conclusion and, from this research the good doctor is hoping to research the effects of similar Botox treatments on the “disgust” emotion in the hope it may relieve some of the problems for those people with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).  The idea is that if people are unable to show the feeling of disgust in their facial expression then it may reduce the feeling of disgust in their compulsion, whatever that may be.  For instance, a lady known to me became obsessed with germs and insisted on wearing gloves around the house and, every time she had to take the gloves off to turn off taps, she’d instantly have to wipe round the taps with disinfectant before she touched them again.  Likewise, if anybody touched any of  the door handles around the house, as soon as those visitors left, she’d go round with the disinfectant. This obsession became progressively worse and eventually she even used to wash cans, bottles, etc when she returned from the supermarket and wouldn’t touch anything that came in a packet or a paper bag without wearing gloves.  Fortunately, she’s now got over it, but I wonder whether Botox injections in the area affecting the “disgust” facial muscles may have assisted in a speedier recovery.

It’s certainly something worth exploring and would help thousands of very unhappy people once again to live a normal life.

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