In the summer of 2019 I unexpectedly found myself suffering from an acute withdrawl syndrome from stopping benzodiazepines – which I had been taking as and when needed for my fear of flying and occasional insomnia. Without going into too much detail, I was thrown into months of suffering and lived a completely “holistic” and natural lifestyle to help with my numerous physical symptoms which included fortnight long headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, chemical anxiety and panic attacks.
I was terrified of consuming anything “unnatural’ and so put my beloved twice yearly botox injections aside. It took me over a year to fully heal and I suddenly had a renewed appreciation for life. Sadly, I did not have much of an appreciation for the fine lines developing around my eyes and the “elevens” shadow I would see staring back at my from the numerous lockdown FaceTime calls I was making. I developed temporary intolerances during my withdrawal due to a sensitised CNS, and had to cut out caffeine, chocolate, sugar, msg and alcohol – basically anything fun.
I longed to feel “normal” again. To sit and have sushi in my favourite Japanese restaurants slathered in lashings of soy sauce (to my detriment rich in msg), to have a cocktail with friends after a long day and to be able to look in the mirror without feeling self conscious about the sorry state of my skin.
I heard mixed reviews about botox in the benzodiazepine withdrawl community – many said it helped them with their headache symptoms, others said it was best to avoid. I was unsure for so long but decided to bite the botox bullet and speak to an expert.
I met Dr Daniel Hunt at his grand treatment room in Harley Street’s renowned Imperial Aesthetics and was instantly put at ease by his friendly yet professional nature.
Dr Hunt (BSc, MBBS) is the founder and director of Imperial Aesthetics and also a medical doctor offering Covid antibody tests – a great addition to his treatment list during these difficult and uncertain times.
Dr Hunt is an expert in a range of aesthetic procedures including fillers to add definition to the face and create a more youthful appearance. He is also known for using botox around the mouth area to create a more rejuvenated lip contour.
He says of his vision; “I believe in achieving natural looking results for all of my patients which I achieve via an in-depth personalised consultation prior to treatment to assess a person’s specific areas of concern. To get the best results I focus on enhancing a clients natural features/beauty in a subtle natural way.”
After a thorough analysis of my face, Dr Hunt recommended that Botox would be most beneficial for the look I wished to achieve. I explained that I was feeling anxious about receiving any type of aesthetic treatment due to what I had been through and was then completely reassured by a detailed scientific explanation on how Botox works.
Dr Hunt expertly explained how only a tiny amount of botox is used for cosmetic procedures ( much less than the amounts used to treat headaches) and how it remains encapsulated in a tiny area of muscle of only a few centimetres. Once hearing that the botox will be contained in the muscle and not seep into the CNS or cross the blood brain barrier I was pleasantly reassured and happy to undergo the treatment.
I was told my problem areas would be injected with a small amount of botox and I could come back after 2 weeks to a month to have a top up – this also helped with my botox anxiety. I felt so grateful to have found a doctor who understood my fears and was so proficient in explaining the scientific process behind the treatment.
After Dr Hunt had injected the area around my eyes, between my brows and my forehead, and I stared at the tiny red dots in the mirror, I joked how I already felt better about my appearance.
The truth was, I felt almost ecstatic at retuning to a procedure that would lift my mood and confidence after 15 months.
As the botox started to kick in after 4 days when I was on holiday in Turkey, I can’t begin to explain how happy I started to feel. my frown lines disappeared, my eyebrows had a subtle but noticeable lifted effect, leaving me with a younger, fresher appearance, and my tiny forehead lines banished to merry oblivion.
After 2 weeks the full effects could be seen and I was ecstatic.
I was on holiday in a beautiful country, I dined at one of my favourite sushi restaurants and had even tried some soy sauce with no problems. I also had the confidence from my skin being subtly lifted and smoothed from the botox treatment Dr Hunt had expertly administered.
I finally felt like me again. I felt a sense of achievement at putting my fears aside and trusting a professional to solve the skin concerns that had plagued me for so long. I felt renewed and excited for the future – thanks to Dr Hunt.
I had tried many beauty treatments and botox “alternatives’ to help solve my skin woes, yet in my honest opinion there is nothing as noticeable and satisfying as good old fashioned botox injections to achieve optimum results.
This may seem like a dramatic review of a routine botox appointment, yet it truly helped bring back my old happy self. Dr Hunt helped me achieve the results I wanted, leading to a more contented state of mind, and because of this I recommend him to anyone seeking the same.
Long Live Botox…