Scientific American reports on a depression treatment study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. The “head line” was that injecting Botox into facial muscles involved that are in frowning decreased depressive symptoms by 47% compared to a 9% decrease in the placebo group. But don’t go to your psychiatrist asking for Botox just yet. The results would need to be replicated and the treatment would undergo a rigorous process before it could be approved by the FDA.
However it is an intriguing, if not surprising, result. Our emotions are not just how we feel subjectively. They are composed of our thoughts, physiological response, action urges, facial expression, and more. Changing one part of the system feeds into the rest of the system, changing the emotional experience. It is the idea behind cognitive therapy. If you can change the way you think, it can change the way you feel.