Many people RELIGIOUSLY believe that the full moon causes people to behave differently – more crime, higher birth rates, busy emergency rooms, general increase in mental issues. Is it true? No, no and no. Science has shown this is positively NOT true and should be put to rest.
But it won’t go away as society continues to just believe it and people look only for evidence that supports their preferred view. Another study has come out that has looked at psychological symptoms of patients who showed up at a hospital emergency room. They found, no correlation with the lunar cycles.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers directed by Professor Geneviève Belleville of Université Laval’s School of Psychology after having examined the relationship between the moon’s phases and the number of patients who show up at hospital emergency rooms experiencing psychological problems. Details on the study can be found on the website of the scientific journal General Hospital Psychiatry.
To determine whether the widespread belief linking the moon to mental health problems was true, researchers evaluated patients who visited emergency rooms at Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis between March 2005 and April 2008. They focused specifically on 771 individuals who showed up at the emergency room with chest pains for which no medical cause could be determined. Psychological evaluations revealed that a sizeable number of these patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts.
Here is the paper’s abstract:
Significant seasonal effects were observed on panic and anxiety disorders, with panic more frequently encountered during spring [odds ratio (OR)=1.378, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.002–1.896] and anxiety disorders during summer (OR=1.586, 95% CI=1.037–2.425). Except for one significant finding, no significant effects of lunar cycles were observed. These findings encourage ED professionals and physicians to abandon their beliefs about the influence of lunar cycles on the mental health of their patients. Such unfounded beliefs are likely to be maintained by self-fulfilling prophecies.
The researcher says there may be factors at play that they didn’t consider, “But one thing is certain: we observed no full-moon or new-moon effect on psychological problems.”
Don’t try and discuss this with police or nurses because they get mad. It’s a myth people just love too much to give up.
From Skeptic’s Dictionary:Full moon and lunar effects