Can Botox Relieve Depression?
Some time ago, researchers suggested that exposure to sunlight could help treat a certain type of depression. At the time, it was considered absurd. Today, that depression is known as seasonal affective disorder and is treated with sunlight. Now, researchers believe that Botox injections, which treat wrinkles and frowns quite effectively, can actually relieve depression. Yes, you read that right. The same injection that gives a youthful appearance is now suggested as a treatment for depression. Three studies, done by different researchers, found that patients experienced a decrease in depression symptoms after one injection of Botox. In the latest study, by Finzi and Rosenthal, seventeen of thirty three reported improvement in depression, and some found their depression disappeared. Though the studies are small, they do provide some evidence that Botox may indeed be useful in treating depression.
More studies are needed, but researchers believe that they will find more proof of the link between Botox and depression. Botox injections, which do not enter the bloodstream and have no side effects, may serve as a good alternative to anti-depressants, which sometimes have major side effects.
Finzi, E., & Rosenthal, N. E. (2014). Treatment of depression with onabotulinumtoxinA: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Journal of Psychiatric Research,52, 1-6.