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Botox: The New Depression Cure?


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The study is ridiculously tiny, but wow, it could be true!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6052000979.html

here's an excerpt:

The pilot study of 10 patients is the first to provide empirical support for what a number of clinicians say they have noticed anecdotally: People who get their furrowed brows eliminated with Botox (botulinum toxin A) often report an improvement in mood.

Until now, the assumption was that they were just feeling better about their appearance. But the new study by local dermatologist Eric Finzi suggests that something else may be at work. Finzi found that even patients who were not seeking cosmetic improvement, showed a dramatic decrease in depression symptoms.

I've read that facial expression can have an effect on mood - that smiling, for instance, activates areas in the brain that make you feel happy (not sure about the science here, sorry). But the theory isn't completely off the wall.

The article also cites some counter-theories, like good science reporting should.

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Hardcore psychopharmacology nerd herrfous in da haus, so run away...

I just looked and realized I'd typed it as 'haus'.

anyways

Botox's effectiveness in changing muscle tone in cosmetic applications depends on its pharmacological actions, which indirectly decrease availability of the neurotransmitter (acetyl)choline. So, it's an anticholinergic. Just like Cogentin/benztropine, most OTC antihistamines, most TCAs, and other assorted fun meds.

Some people (the classical physicians like Aristotle termed these individuals the 'cholerics') receive some reprieve from depression with anticholinergic therapy. Anticholinergics have the effect of reducing memory recall, including short term, but especially, long term memory. So it follows that depressed people who have issues with undesired recall of [traumatic] long-term memories might find a little help with Botox. Anticholinergic effects probably explain some of the efficacy of TCAs, too (just my wild-ass guess).

That's why herbs containing the powerful anticholinergics strychnine and atropine (for example, belladonna containing the latter) were occasionally used to treat maladies known then as 'hysteria' and 'melancholia' (the latter lending part of its name to Aristotle's term for psychological ruminants, as well as the neurotransmitter itself).

I suppose with sufficient doses of strychnine and atropine, that one's melancholy could be cured permanently, albeit with an initial acute period of extremely unpleasant side effects...

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Epilogue:

herrfous finally RTFA.

And having seen all the theories put forth in it, is thinking "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY THINK OF THE OBVIOUS?!?!?" ;)

I'm just going to hope that it's the Post's fine, in-depth journalism (or lack thereof) that caused this glaring omission.

Either that, or I'm more insane than previously thought. Which wouldn't be too surprising, I suppose...

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Hey gang I think they got the Botox idea right but applied in the wrong place.

Botox is used to fix wrinkles. Take a look at the brain (cortex). It is covered with wrinkles that dwarf any facial wrinkles. We just need to smooth out the brain. It's too messy anyhow.

;)

a.m. woozy, dopey and silly.

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Hey gang I think they got the Botox idea right but applied in the wrong place.

Botox is used to fix wrinkles. Take a look at the brain (cortex). It is covered with wrinkles that dwarf any facial wrinkles. We just need to smooth out the brain. It's too messy anyhow.

Point taken, A.M.

Is there a good steamroller I can use on mine? It really needs one, if you couldn't tell by my above ranting.

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Reminds me of a cartoon I saw in form of an ad for a reality dimmer switch. Knob attached to corkscrew in brain. When things got too uncool, just turn the knob and you wouldn't notice.

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  • 3 years later...

It took me 6 years of getting Botox to realize that every time within 12 hours, I experienced sudden and severe insomnia, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, and a rapid slide into depression. I have always been very even keel, not terribly moody, and sleep like a champ, so the difference is drastic and obvious, and certainly not psychological. Suspecting the connection, I began to keep "mood charts" over the last 2 years, documenting what happened to me after having Botox. The link is absolute and very clear -- it's the Botox that is causing the problems.

If you search message boards, MANY other people have experienced exactly the same thing. Doctors and Clinicians deny such "side effects" are common, even real, and yet they are being widely reported all over the internet. The problem is, because we do not expect such a response to Botox, we do not directly connect the reaction.

It has quite devastated my life -- leading to a misdiagnosis from a Psychiatrist, and eventually taking 5 dangerous mind-altering medications to "treat" the misdiagnosis. Of course, my "mental illness" strangely went away every time the Botox wore off, but try explaining that to a Psychiatrist! Once I realized what was really going on, I weaned myself successfully off all medications working with a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Nutritional Psychiatrist (yes, they exist!) -- and of course I stopped having Botox. What is REALLY crazy... is Botox has been touted in some reports as a treatment for Depression!

I think it will be years before the true effects of Botox become apparent. I wonder if there is any link between the drastic increase in RXs for sleeping pills, anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants in the last 10 years -- and the advent of Botox during the same period. It's hard to know -- because these side effects are not disclosed by the manufacturer of Botox -- so Doctors don't know to expect or look for them. They automatically dismiss them as probably psychological, when clearly they are not. I think the key problem is people probably don't realize Botox is doing this to them, because a) they don't expect it, and b) they want to focus on the positive outcome of Botox.

Until more people come forward and speak up -- and file "adverse event" reports with the FDA as I did -- nothing will change. You can file an "adverse event" report here: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medw...atch-online.htm

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