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Can Botox Block Emotions?

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Smile and The World Smiles With You

A new study to be published in the journal Psychological Science reveals that the cosmetic use of Botox may do more than get rid of wrinkles.  As a molecular and developmental neurobiologist at reports, it may actually stop you from smiling–inside and out!

Scientists agree that there is a causal relationship between facial expression and emotions–if you can’t smile, you can’t feel the emotion associated with that smile.  In order to process, that is to fully experience the emotional content of language, you must be able to respond to that language with facial movements such as smiles or frowns.

Botox, a form of the botulism poison, is commonly used by millions of people to freeze the facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The study, led by David Havas at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that because Botox  freezes these important facial muscles and prevents the facial movements associated with emotion, it blocks people from feeling the full extent of normal feelings associated with reading emotional text.

Our emotions and our experience of them, both positive and negative, enrich and inform our lives. So forgo the Botox–your wrinkles may be more beautiful than you think.

Can Botox Block Emotions?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2019). Can Botox Block Emotions?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 29 Mar 2019
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