Who Would Have Thought I’d get Botox for Depression


I’m not a cosmetic procedures kind of gal.  Power to others if that’s what works for them, but given that I can’t even be bothered putting on makeup most of the time, all things physical appearance-related don’t rank very high on my priority list.

But that’s not why I’ve just gotten Botox.  To keep my knowledge base up to date in the field of psychiatry I try to watch webinars on a somewhat regular basis.  The other day I was watching a webinar on novel treatments for depression, and one of the things mentioned was Botox.  There have been a few small research studies (one from 2014, one from 2012, and another from 2006) that found that injecting Botox into the frown line areas on the forehead actually led to an improvement in depressive symptoms, even in people with treatment-resistant illness.  The thinking behind it is that not only does facial musculature express mood states, but it gives feedback that in turn regulates mood states.  By preventing frowning, Botox may disrupt that harmful feedback loop.

Will it work?  Who knows.  At this point, I’m willing to try just about anything.  I’m doing this with my naturopath, who does cosmetic procedures as part of her practice.  I trust her, and she thinks it’s a good idea, so what the heck, might as well give it a go.  Fingers crossed!

There’s an update here.

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashley L. Peterson

My new book, Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic, everything up to and including the kitchen sink look at how to put together the pieces of your unique depression puzzle. It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers, as well as the MH@H Store.

36 thoughts on “Who Would Have Thought I’d get Botox for Depression”

  1. Awesome! It makes sense if you ask me. Also our physical appearance helps us to feel better internally without being egotistical, I’ve found this to be true.

    1. Apparently results can be seen by 6 weeks after a single treatment, and can last 24 weeks (which is interesting, because the cosmetic effects don’t last that long).

  2. Great information. I’ve had Botox several times and can’t say my depression improved. That doesn’t Botox is not an answer for many. I’m going again in two weeks, I’ll pay more attention to any improvement of depression. Good luck. It doesn’t hurt, they use very small needles.

  3. Hmm, I have never heard it used for depression except if people felt it would improve their looks, although I have heard that many were not happy with it and have turned away from it. Let us know if it has results for you, if you get it. Best wishes–

  4. I had never heard of this before, but the logic makes sense. I’m glad you’ve got a trusted professional to guide you, that certainly helps the decision-making process. I hope you’ll keep us in the loop about how you think it works.

  5. I truly hope that it does some good for you. Placebo or not.
    I have not seen this research, but it remind me of research I am aware of – mainly, force yourself to smile. If you do it enough times and for a long enough time, your brain will start to believe you are actually happy and will combat your sadness. So this is somewhat in line with what you’re saying.
    Again, I hope it helps you, keep us posted, but I am very skeptical from a medical perspective.

    1. I’ve heard about the smiling thing, and I’ve found that trying to make myself smile when I’m feeling crappy just annoys me because the fakeness of it reminds me of just how bad I’m feeling. Anyway, we’ll see how things go,.

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