Lunacy during the full moon urban myth: researchers

A new study out of Quebec claims to debunk the urban legend that lunacy and mental health issues are more common during phases of the full moon.

It’s a popular myth perpetuated by fairy tales and werewolves, and validated by 80 percent of nurses and 64 of doctors surveyed by the Université Laval who said they’re convinced that the lunar cycle affects patients’ mental health.

The full moon has been blamed for everything from inducing more labor in pregnant women, driving up rates of suicide, homicide, erratic behavior, psychiatric hospital admissions and emergency room calls.

But in their study, published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry, researchers concluded that there is no connection between lunar phases and psychological problems, after looking at 771 patients who made emergency room visits between 2005 and 2008 complaining of medically inexplicable chest pains.

A sizable number of these patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, mood disorders and suicidal thoughts.

After looking at the lunar calendar, researchers found no link between the incidence of psychological incidents and the phases of the moon, with one exception: anxiety disorders were 32 percent less frequent during the last lunar quarter.

The results of their study are significant, researchers say, and should encourage physicians to abandon these misguided beliefs.

"We hope our results will encourage health professionals to put that idea to rest," said lead author Geneviève Belleville.

"Otherwise, this misperception could, on the one hand, color their judgment during the full moon phase. Or, on the other hand, make them less attentive to psychological problems that surface during the remainder of the month."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Most Popular

  • The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    Healthy Living - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 11:33 PM PHT
    The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    So my doctor prescribed two medications, including a synthetic thyroid hormone to replace what my body was having trouble making. It turns out that my story is actually quite common, especially since the risk for thyroid disorders tends to increase as you get older-and women are up to eight times more likely than men to develop one. I was also surprised to learn that having an underactive thyroid is the most common problem, but it can be tricky to diagnose. The gold standard for measuring …

  • Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Healthy Living - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 10:38 PM PHT
    Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Weight-loss rookies beware: despite your best efforts, you may be making some well-intentioned mistakes that not only halt your progress, but can actually cause weight gain, leaving you feeling anything but motivated. …

  • Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Healthy Living - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:34 PM PHT
    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Those sweets are just one category of "fermentable carbohydrates," foods that can wreak havoc on some people's guts (another common irritating class is lactose), causing diarrhea, gas and/or bloating. …

  • If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    Healthy Living - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 9:41 PM PHT
    If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK. …

  • What Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health

    What Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health

    Healthy Living - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 1:21 AM PHT
    What Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health

    Total-body health starts in your mouth--esearch showing that what goes on in your mouth can directly reflect what's happening elsewhere in your body, from your brain down to your private parts, leading to cognitive decline, diabetes, and certain STDs …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options
POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options