Botox_depression_May_web

Botox blocks feelings

Feedback is a really important thing. Without a little fashion feedback from those who care about you it’s possible you might still be wearing that pair of toreador pants you bought while on holiday in Spain. Without feedback how would road crew set up their sound stage before a Stones concert? Your body, and mind, also rely on a continuous round of feedback. What a new study has shown though is that botox can disrupt that feedback system when it comes to your emotions.

In the study psychologists followed people who had received botox treatment for facial lines. Botox, of course, is Botulinum toxin, a nerve poison that paralyses muscles causing wrinkles caused by the muscles to disappear while the botox is still present and working. All of the people in the study were given questionnaires to establish their mood and levels of depression.

The results showed that people who had received treatment for “crow’s feet”, the lines at the corners of your eyes, had significantly higher levels of depression than those who had only received treatment for frown lines (the lines on the forehead and between the eyes made when you frown).

What is happening here is that the feedback loop between your body and your mind is being disrupted by the paralysing effects of the botox. You smile when your mind tells you that you are happy and the action of your muscles in smiling tells your brain that you are in fact happy and so the cycle perpetuates itself. Previous research has shown that if someone forces her or himself to smile, regardless of what they are feeling, they will then feel happier. Paralysing the muscles at the side of the eyes that cause crow’s feet but also are recruited in a genuine smile breaks the feedback chain of positive emotion. The result, according to this study, is that you are more likely to feel depressed.

If you want to then, you can have a botox treatment but don’t do it thinking that the only effect will be to make you look like you are either perpetually bored or have mild indigestion. You cannot change the function of a part without impacting the whole and when you paralyse the muscles that are causing wrinkles you also knock out part of the feedback circuitry that runs your emotions. It cuts both ways of course because reducing frown lines can make you feel less angry. The real question is whether you want to feel what you are feeling or not? In the end too, it all points to a simple prescription for happiness…just smile.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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Face_expression

Botox blocks feelings

Blocking your ability to move your body can cause changes in your thinking and emotions. To test this researchers used Botox to paralyse muscles that cause brow-wrinkling frowns. Prior to the treatment and then two weeks afterwards, the subjects were asked to read written statements that were angry, sad, or happy. To measure their ability to understand the statements, the subjects pressed a button when they had finished reading. The results showed no change in the time required to read the happy statements but after the muscle paralysis the subjects took more time to read angry and sad sentences. Normally your brain sends a message to make muscles frown and the extent of the frown is sent back to the brain which interprets how to feel accordingly. In other words, the expression of emotion is part of the emotion. The implications for cosmetic surgery are huge.Meanwhile if you visit Meijer Ad that contains mostly likewise discounts with Winn Dixie Ad you surely have a range like ALDI Ad.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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