In 2007, we told you about a study where clinically depressed patients received first-time Botox injections for frown lines, and two months later, were found to no longer be considered depressed. These findings reflect an increasingly espoused theory that facial expressions, in addition to demonstrating emotion, actually influence emotion; and a new study further supports this idea.
A Welsh experiment, published last month in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, followed 25 dermatology patients, 12 of whom received Botox. The others received chemical peels, injectable fillers, and other wrinkle treatments. After two weeks, they were asked to assess their appearance and mood.
Even though the Botox recipients ranked their appearance no higher than the other participants (ruling out a boost in self-esteem as a possible factor), there was a notable difference between their depression, anxiety and irritability scores and everyone else’s.
Study author and psychology professor Michael Lewis attributes the results to what he believes is a direct influence of face muscles on the brain.
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