Monday, March 05, 2012

Does Botox Change The Shrink?

So I'm a little older than I used to be and recently when I look in the mirror, I've noticed some lines in my forehead when I make specific expressions.  I'm not so sure I like them; when they show up in photos, they definitely make me look older.  And yet, I know that these lines aren't just from aging, they are an occupational hazard.  Part of attentive listening in psychotherapy involves using your face to convey, in non-verbal ways, obviously, feelings and expressions and interest and even questions.  These are my quizzical lines.  Really?  Don't you think you're kidding yourself there?  Give me a break.  Not a word gets uttered, but oh so much gets communicated in silence, with the movement of just a few muscles.  Yes, Clink, here and there I have a moment of silence.   A short moment, but still.  Wrinkles as an occupational hazard.  

Every now and then I have the thought that maybe I should Botox those lines away, but my first thought is always, will it interfere with my work?  Who am I as a psychiatrist without the Quizzical Look?  Will my patients relate to me differently?  Will they have worse/different/better therapeutic outcomes if my facial muscles are paralyzed?   Oh, and since they came from my work, can I tax deduct the cost of botox treatments?  

No worries, I'll stay wrinkled....or long as Clink continues to be a nun look-a-like and Roy remains a geek. 


Liz said...

i am twenty-six, and i am noticing a few faint wrinkles. i can't say i don't find it disconcerting. however, i have earned those mini-lines, and over time, i hope i am able to welcome any more that form.

remembering to SMILE makes a far bigger difference on one's attractiveness than poisoning the wrinkles away! aging isn't a bad thing, so i don't think we should hide it away!

and if my shrink had no facial expressions, i would DEFINITELY be distracted. unless they were doing psychoanalysis, freudian style... then it might be okay.


Julia said...

I'm sure your brains and not the look will help your patients so I don't think it would be a problem if you'd have Botox.
It's important what you want because you are waking up every single day and look in the mirror...
When I got sick of seeing the old face of me every single morning I decided to have a botox Toronto treatment. It was the best decision ever because after the procedure I felt great....I woke up for a while and spend more than 10 minutes looking and my new younger look:)

clairesmum said...

my own face (coming up on 55) has some wrinkles, and i'm proud of them - all are honestly earned! of course, I work in a geriatric care setting, so I am "young' as far as my clients are concerned.
I have a colleague who has had work done - and it is very disconcerting when the expression on her face seems like it was put together like a Mr Potato head - eyebrows, under eye area, nose, lips, cheeks - don't all seem to 'fit together.' It is not so jarring that you can tell what is wrong, just a 'why is she so hard to read?' effect that I have had to learn to ignore.

Anonymous said...

I don't think having the botox would change the quality of your treatment, as your personality would not likely change. But, I do think that if your current patients noticed then you definitely run the risk of them judging you as shallow. (Ex: What, you're spending the hundreds if not thousands of dollars I pay you every month on BOTOX?!)

Anonymous said...


I wish you a long and healthy life together with all the lines and wrinkles that come with that.

Dinah said...

So I just got an email from Jesse saying I don't need botox!
It seems the whole tongue-in-cheek concept of the article was lost.

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike. I haven't used Botox, but I've thought about it.Check out my blog The Shrink Files
(, and guess what, my handle is Shrinkrapper.

alice lhen said...

We all sometimes age and we can see that wrinkles will show on our face but having a good lifestyle is the only best way.

VZ 58

Sophia said...

Bah. I like my psychiatrist's silver hair and wrinkles. I also like my therapist's lack of makeup and salt-and-pepper hair that is so long it goes down to her waist. They look human.

I've never seen any cosmetic work that looks natural, or honestly youthful. It doesn't make you look young - it makes you look like you've had work done. Unless there is a good reason (breast reconstruction, burn grafts, broken bones, etc.), nix the work. Your patients will appreciate that bit of humanity from you - psychiatrists often don't show enough of that.

Lauri Hersh said...

As long as you undergo treatment under the hands of a professional, it won’t affect your work. Botox treatments are usually beneficial, as these do inspire a boost of confidence. When that happens, you can perform even better in your job.

Kayln Frickles said...

It seems that you are having a doubt whether botox change the shrink. I think it does change it and it allows does not allow inappropriate wrinkles in our body. I think that its the best way to say beautiful and wrinkle free.

manchester fat acceptance said...

interesting that the wrinkles are an occupational hazard. because i have Asperger's Syndrome, i don't exhibit a wide variety of facial expressions and i use them infrequently at best.

when i worked as a teacher that meant that students couldn't "read" me as easily, but facial expressions (and eye contact for that matter) are surprisingly unnecessary in a teaching context. really.

anyway, my point is that.... my sparing use of facial expressions, along with a sun allergy, mean that i am extremely un-wrinkled. i am mistaken for age 20 to 28 and i am 39. it's fun. i don't have to act my age. :D

Anonymous said...

I had one "shrink" whose brow was deeply creased before the age of 40. She contorted her face a lot. I had another shrink who retained a smooth brow without any chemical aids a lot older than that. That shrink barely ever moved a facial muscle. i am not sure it comes with being a shrink but maybe people who are into facial contortions become shrinks, disproportionate to their numbers in the population?
Some shrinks wear the same clothes every day or so it seems. Some have wardrobe to rival a movie star and are never caught dead in the same outfit. Anyway, you don't seem the Botox type, shrink or not.

Sarebear said...

Ahhhhhh. Today in therapy I noticed a pair of deep vertical lines above his nose on his forehead, the "11". I couldn't stop looking at it and it bugged me, not that I expect him to botox or anything. Of course, today's therapy was well he's deeply concerned about some stuff going on, so he seemed to have a perpetually furrowed brow. I dunno why I noticed it so much today, but it made me think of this post.

Perhaps I noticed so much because I was not really wanting to face some awful stuff.

I just hope it's not as distracting at the 2nd appt I made for later this week, and it bugs me that I'm superficial enough to be bugged by that but then I think it was just me wanting to not focus on painful issues/events/actions.