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Old 04 July 2014, 01:14 AM
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Default How Botox Can Solve the Depression Epidemic

In 2003, Finzi treated several subjects suffering from moderate to severe depression with Botox, paralyzing the muscles in their brows that create expressions of sadness, anger, and fear. The results were astonishing.
[...]
Having read Finzi’s studies, I expected that the emotional impact of the Botox would be internal—that I would feel different inside. But I also noticed a reaction to the Botox in the people I encountered. My mother had always told me that if you’re not frowning more people will want to talk to you, and she was right. As David Matsumoto, a professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and a renowned expert in expression, says, “If your expression changes, then of course how people are perceiving you will change.” Finzi once told me about an older female patient of his who hadn’t socialized in years because of her depression. After Botox, she felt well enough to attend her high school reunion and ended up in a relationship with her high school boyfriend.

But paralyzing the brow doesn’t just eliminate a person’s ability to frown, thereby causing that person to make a cheerier impression. It takes away a key communication tool—facial postures are called expressions for a reason—and this interferes with the ability to empathize. If you were telling me a sad story, my face typically would reflect the expressions on your face. My eyebrows would knit together and rise, even if only slightly; my lip might jut out a little. Those reactions, created by what are called mirror neurons—the neurons responsible for reflecting the expression, and therefore the mood, of the person you’re interacting with—wouldn’t just tell you that I was listening. They would help me feel what you were feeling.

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/heal...feeling-84227/
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Old 06 May 2015, 02:14 AM
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I decided to give this a try. I've been through several therapists and antidepressants over the years, and I'm pretty annoyed at how ineffective they've all been, and how the professionals I've been seeing have pretty much refused to acknowledge this. Assuming I'm not among the tiny percentage who experience an adverse reaction, the worst case scenario is that I spend a fraction of what I've spent on drugs/therapy to get a jump on the whole Orange County anti-aging cult. I had my first, very small dose today; it'll take about 2 weeks to feel the maximum effects, at which time I have a follow-up with the dermatologist and will report back here if anyone's interested.
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Old 06 May 2015, 01:41 PM
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Good luck, Esprise Me. I hope it helps you. If not, I hope something else does.

I would be interested in reading whatever experience you are comfortable sharing.
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Old 06 May 2015, 04:25 PM
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I'd be interested to know, too. It has helped a couple people I know with migraines who had it injected into their foreheads and jaws. I can imagine there would be emotional benefits from that, too.

On the flip side, my bubbly mother had it done for cosmetic reasons, and didn't tell anyone. The change was slight enough that I didn't realize what was happening at first, but I did start to feel like she had become colder towards me, and I told a friend I was feeling strangely mistrustful of her. It wasn't until she told me she had Botox done that I put it together.
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Old 06 May 2015, 10:49 PM
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I have seen reports of people successfully changing their emotional attitude by undertaking to wear the type of expression they would like to feel. I cannot recall if this was by formal study or not. But for instance, people would make themselves smile and relax their forehead to feign a happy aspect and actually found that they soon began to feel happier.
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Old 06 May 2015, 11:06 PM
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I just read about something like that recently, where was it . . . oh, yeah, in the OP article.
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Old 07 May 2015, 06:14 AM
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So far, it's a no news/good news situation; I can still frown, everything feels normal, no adverse reactions. I'm definitely feeling that hopefulness high I always get when I manage to convince myself that this time I've figured out a solution; it usually peaks right as I'm getting the prescription filled, then gradually dies down and is completely gone by the time I hit the 4-6 week mark at which antidepressants are supposed to become effective. If I could just figure out how to maintain the placebo effect, I think I'd be good. For anyone considering Botox for this purpose or just for cosmetic reasons, I have to say it was absurdly uneventful--five pinpricks which after topical lidocaine hurt about as much as plucking my eyebrows. I'll report back as it starts to take effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
On the flip side, my bubbly mother had it done for cosmetic reasons, and didn't tell anyone. The change was slight enough that I didn't realize what was happening at first, but I did start to feel like she had become colder towards me, and I told a friend I was feeling strangely mistrustful of her. It wasn't until she told me she had Botox done that I put it together.
I was worried about that, which is one reason I waited as long as I did. I've been working on trying to settle this one case since September, and it just keeps getting pushed back for various reasons, and I keep thinking now's not a good time because I might need to meet with people soon and show empathy and be persuasive in mediation and all that. But at this rate, I just feel like I can't keep putting my life on hold. You have given me something to think about, though; I was thinking I might not tell most of the people in my life, not because I'm embarrassed or anything, just because I feel like people tend to say they can see a difference once they've been told there is one, and I'm curious to see how many people would actually notice if they weren't told. But maybe I should give people a heads-up in case they do notice but think I'm just being cold for some reason.
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Old 07 May 2015, 03:47 PM
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Getting on with your life seems like a healthy thing, IMO, and I would think genuinely feeling better would improve relationships, rather than hurt them. And for that matter, antidepressants can mess with someone's empathy and personal connections too, depending on how they affect the individual.

With Botox I wonder if it depends on what areas of the face you concentrate on. I don't think it was my mom's lack of a frown that bothered me, it was the change in her smile. It didn't reach her eyes anymore, so it seemed insincere. That's what looked cold.

I hope this works for you! A happier you is a happier you, one way or the other.
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Old 08 May 2015, 02:13 AM
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That's helpful to know. I only did the frown lines between my eyebrows--the 11s, they call them, so my smile should be unaffected. I also went with a conservative 16 ml instead of the usual 20 ml dose. I feel just the slightest hint of numbness there, which I only notice if I'm thinking about it already, so it's much less of an adjustment to my daily life than even popping a pill every morning.
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Old 20 May 2015, 04:47 AM
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I had my two-week follow-up today; this is the point where the Botox reaches maximum efficacy, and will slowly fade over the next 3-4 months. Because I went with a bit less than the recommended dose, I can still furrow my brow just a little if I make an effort, but simply concentrating intently on a task doesn't do it anymore. Aesthetically, I'm really happy with this; I can still make an empathic face when I visit my friend who's recovering from jaw surgery, but I'll be doing less inadvertent frowning.

Psychologically, I think...it might be working. It's really hard to say based on just two weeks. I've had a pretty good couple months overall, nothing that would tend to trigger a major depressive episode, so I've been scrutinizing ordinary ups and downs for signs that something is or isn't different. For a week and a half after I had it done, I was feeling really good--but then, I had no real reason not to. This past weekend, a couple work/life things didn't really go my way, and I was (justifiably, I think) upset--but I managed not to get into that headspace where I hate everyone and I hate myself most of all and it's never going to get better and blah, blah, blah. I felt intense frustration, briefly, but then it blew over.

I've been more productive at work lately, possibly for reasons having nothing to do with any of this; I finally stopped getting interrupted long enough to finish this memo that's been languishing in my taskbar for weeks, telling me it's not nearly good enough to justify having taken so long to finish it. The supervising attorney even liked it. We're finally seeing some progress on negotiations that have been dragging on and being repeatedly delayed for months, so that's always good for taking the edge off that sense of "what am I even doing here?" But also, y'know, I did manage to actually finish that memo, instead of agonizing and beating myself up over it and avoiding dealing with it, which was kind of happening, in between all the interruptions, before.

So TL;DR, I'm not sure whether to call this an unqualified success, but I'm probably going back in a few months for a re-up.
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Old 20 May 2015, 03:47 PM
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I'm glad to hear that, ES! Unqualified or not, anything that boosts your coping mechanisms is a good thing. I had HRT for severe, extended postpartum depression, and I remember the day I knocked something off the table and thought, "oops!" instead of "I want to die." It was a good day.

It sounds like you found a doctor who did exactly what you wanted, too. Thanks for the update.
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