Botox has been glowingly popular among people of all ages. But have we ever considered the Botox connection to our emotions? Researchers believe that there is sufficient evidence that Botox injections may affect the way a person reacts to emotional circumstances.
What exactly is Botox?
According to Wikipedia, Botox or Botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxic protein that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is used both commercially as a cosmetic aid and is also used as the treatment for severe medical purposes. Some of which include vocal cord dysfunction and chronic migraine. The two main commercially used types are, Botulinum toxin type A and Botulinum toxin type B.
Botox is commercially used as a cosmetic drug to prevent the development of wrinkles. The Botox is injected into the area and essentially paralyzes the facial muscles. It is used by millions of people around the world as a beauty aid. Botox is used as in injection to help smooth wrinkles and aid in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Botox and Botulism
The FDA requires that a boxed warning is used to inform all users of the risk of botulism. Botulism is a potentially fatal disease caused by an infection related to the Botox. When locally administered, the toxin may move from the injection site to other areas of your body causing Botulism. This warning from the FDA has been put in place after a number of deaths linked to the injection of Botox.
Are Botox injections safe?
Botox injections are considered relatively safe as long as they are properly administered. Botox parties have become a fad among the wealthy and the famous, but are considered to be dangerous and risky. The possible side effects are typically minor such as:
- a headache
- swelling at the injection site
- droopy eyelid
- crooked smile
- eye dryness.
Some more serious side effects that warrant a consultation with your doctor include:
- body muscle weakness
- trouble breathing
- vision problems
- trouble speaking or swallowing
- loss of bladder control
How can it affect our emotions?
Studies suggest, that when you can’t physically express your emotions, you feel less emotion. By injecting Botox into your face, you are temporarily paralyzing facial muscles. For instance, you see a video clip that is making people bawl their eyes out and you don’t have a similar reaction. Could it be because you can’t physically express the pain or dismay you feel? Is Botox a semi-permanent poker face that hides the most sensitive of human emotions?
It is suggested that by not responding to emotional situations in the same way as others, you may have lost empathy. Scientists believe that our reaction to emotions has a great deal to do with reproducing others emotions in our own body. Botox connection to our emotions is associated with whether or not you have the same reaction to the present emotion.
According to a recent study conducted by scientists at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, “The thankfully temporary paralysis of facial muscles that this toxin cause impairs our ability to capture the meaning of other people’s facial expressions”, explains Jenny Baumeiste. The study is based on a theory known as the embodiment. It is believed that one’s ability to process emotions, involves their ability to reproduce the same emotions on their own bodies
. For instance, when you see someone giving a smile it generally makes you smile as well, sometimes unknowingly to ourselves. It is typically an automated response to emotion. That being said, when you are under the effects of Botox, your facial muscles are temporarily paralyzed, affecting one’s ability to mimic the natural response to the emotions of others.
The study involved a number of people carrying out numerous test to gauge their responses to emotions. The test was administered directly before the Botox injection and two weeks following the injections. The results were then compared to those of individuals who had not been administered any Botox at all. The effects of the injections were said to be obviously different in comparison to those who had received no Botox injections. “The negative effect is very clear when the expressions observed are subtle. Instead, when the smile is wide and over, the subjects were still able to recognize it, even if they’ve had the treatment”. “For very intense stimuli, although there was a definite tendency to perform worse, the difference was not significant.
On the other hand, for “equivocal” stimuli that are more difficult to pick up, the effect of the paralysis was very strong”. explains Francesco Foroni, a coordinator of the study with the International School for Advanced Studies.
The study is believed to confirm at least a portion of the theory this famous injection procedure effects the way that we process emotions. Researchers found that one’s inability to process certain emotions may affect their ability have a normal social interaction. Lessening one’s emotional readability and sensitivity may affect more than just the aspect of compassion.
Botox and mood
Your emotion also affects your mood, more so than anything else. “Our study was devised to investigate embodied cognition. At the same time, we think that awareness of this consequence will be of use to those involved in aesthetic medicine, not least to adequately inform people seeking to undergo these treatments” commented Foroni.
The Botox connection on our emotions still require further research to understand, but should still be taken into consideration before choosing to have Botox Injections. The biggest question in research, beyond the effects of Botox, is, can our physical perception of emotion truly have that great of an effect on our actual emotion?