Can Botox help people overcome depression?

March 3, 2011

Can Botox help people overcome depression?
Can Botox help people overcome depression?

Botox treatments are commonly used to help combat signs of aging, but it appears as though the cosmetic treatment may offer a rather surprising benefit. Some medical professionals argue that Botox injections may help one overcome depression, reports NBC affiliate WBBH.

Botox features neurotoxins that block nerve signals which cause muscles to contract, preventing wrinkling. Many choose to have the substance injected around their eyes, as this is a common area where wrinkles form.

Some doctors believe that this treatment may also cause one to frown less often, which could potentially help reduce depression, as many argue that facial expressions are strongly linked to one's personal emotions. If one has trouble frowning, then it might lead to difficulty feeling the emotion. Others believe that if a person frowns less, other people may respond to that person differently, contributing to a positive feedback loop.

Psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, of Capital Clinical Research Associates, is working to understand the connection between Botox and depression alleviation.

"There are so many ways to treat depression and of course the mainstay is antidepressants," he told the news source. "Often times these are insufficient. There are still some people left feeling depressed. So we really do need novel, innovative ways to treat depressed people."

Botox has also been used to treat excessive sweating of the palms and scalp, among other areas, according to the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety. Those who are considering undergoing a Botox treatment should be sure to discuss the process with a board-certified plastic surgeon.  


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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