22 January 2010

A leading psychiatrist has suggested that Botox treatments can help alleviate depression and make people happier by increasing their self-esteem.Dr Eva Ritvo has co-authored the book The Beauty Prescription with dermatologist Dr Debra Luftman, in which she states that beauty improvements through cosmetic surgery can create a "feedback loop in the environment." According to, this means that more attractive people tend to get more rewards in life, and this helps to boost their positive feelings and self-esteem. The authors write: "In our modern world, research shows that beautiful people earn more money, get a better break in the legal system, get more help from strangers, advance further in their careers and are generally happier." Dr Ritvo recounted a recent personal experience that revealed another interesting benefit of wrinkle relaxing injections towards retaining happiness. After coming out of an upsetting film, she explained: "For some reason, the paralysis of the muscles in my glabellar area due to the injections of botulinum toxin A rendered me totally unable to cry. "But even more surprisingly, when I couldn't cry, I quickly stopped feeling sad. I left the movie with my girlfriend, who was feeling very down, and I felt so odd that I couldn't find those emotions. I was ready to go to the next activity. Sadness was nowhere to be found. It was as if the emotion came up, couldn't be expressed, and so, went away." This follows earlier research that suggested Botox can make people happier, and is an area of psychology that Dr Ritvo hopes will receive much more attention in the coming years.