Major depressive disorder, simply known as depression, is a serious mental illness. About 1 in 10 Canadians will experience an episode of depression during their lifetime1. Interestingly, women are more likely than men to experience depression (1).
Research is suggesting a novel approach to treating depression: Botox®. One theory highlights the fact that when we look good we feel good. Looking into a mirror and being happy with our reflection is an uplifting experience. Feeling good about our appearance makes us feel more confident as we go about our day.
A second theory focuses on the way we express our emotions. Our facial expressions show others how we are feeling. When we are happy, we smile. When we are sad, worried, or angry, we frown. Recent studies explore the concept that the expressions we wear on our face actually influence our mood. These preliminary studies show that by selectively relaxing the muscles that cuase us to frown we may be able to improve our mood from the outside in. Over the past 20 years, Botox® has been found to treat a number of different medical conditions (migraines, strabismus, dystonias, spastic muscles, TMJ, bladder dysfunction) in addition to its cosmetic use.
While more scientific research is necessary to reach a definite conclusion, perhaps, in the future, Botox® will also be used to treat depression.
(1) To learn more about the signs and symptoms of depression and how you or a loved one can get help, please visit www.depressionhurts.ca.