Does it seem like people act extra-weird when there’s a full moon? A lot of people believe it’s true, including 2-out-of-3 doctors who work in the ER. But guess what: It’s just their imagination!

According to a study published in General Hospital Psychiatry, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence that the number of psychological problems change depending on the phases of the moon. Researchers reviewed medical records and mental health evaluations from two hospitals over a 3-year period. They focused on patients with mental issues, like anxiety, panic attacks, mood disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The result? The moon’s phases had absolutely no influence on human behavior, at all.

Other studies have looked into whether the moon’s phases affect the number of calls to crisis hotlines, as well as homicide rates, and admissions to psychiatric hospitals. And they found no link between the brightness of the moon, and human behavior.

So, why do so many people believe that a full moon affects our mental state? Because it’s part of human mythology…

  • Two thousand years ago, Greek myths were filled with stories about men turning into werewolves under a full moon.
  • Then there’s the word “lunatic,” which comes from Luna, the Latin word for moon. It was coined back in the late 13th century, well before we understood very much about mental health issues.
  • Experts say it’s because we’re highly likely to notice – and remember – seeing a full moon. So, we may link any odd behavior to that full moon. While odd behavior every other day of the month is just considered weird.

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