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Do Full Moons Make People Crazy?

Do Full Moons Make People Crazy?

“Must be a full Moon …” is a common utterance whenever things start to go a little haywire. The idea that a full Moon can drive people mad is an old one. Even the word “lunatic,” and its relatives “loon” and “loony,” derive from the Latin word “luna,” meaning “Moon.”

Urban legends abound on the subject of things going haywire around the time of the full Moon. According to contemporary lore, emergency rooms and veterinary offices are busier when the Moon is full; suicide, arson, and violent crime rates increase, patients in psychiatric hospitals act out more, and there are more traffic accidents. Others even attribute medical occurrences, such as women going into labor, epileptic seizures, and sleepwalking to the full Moon. But is it true?

Do Full Moons Really Affect Our Behavior?

People who believe that Moon phases affect human behavior point out that the human body is about 60% water. If the phase of the Moon can affect ocean tides, and even cause a bulge in the Earth’s crust, surely it would exert an effect of human beings, they reason.

And, of course, one of the most popular features in the Farmers’ Almanac is our Best Days calendar, which recommends specific days to do everything from plant root crops to cut hair for increased growth, based on the phases of the Moon and other factors. Readers swear that they see better results in their endeavors when they follow these recommendations.

What Does Science Say?

Science has taken the question of the full Moon’s effects seriously enough that there have been a number of studies examining the various claims. Nearly all of them have come up empty, though. All have either found no correlation between the Moon and human behavior or were later debunked by other studies that questioned their methods.

Scientists are also quick to point out that objects on Earth have more effect on one another than the Moon does. Astronomer George Abell famously noted that a mosquito sitting on your arm exerts more gravitational force on your body than the Moon does.

So why the persistent belief, purportedly even among emergency room personnel and police, in the power of the full Moon to bring on crazy behavior? One hypothesis, posed in a 1999 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggested that sleep deprivation, caused by the brightness of the full Moon, might have worsened existing mental disorders. Once electric lights were invented, the authors said, the effect was negated, which is why modern studies have found no correlation.

Others say the belief has remained strong due to “confirmation bias,” the idea that people favor information that supports their preconceived notions. In other words, if you expect people to act strangely during a full Moon, every strange behavior you encounter during a full Moon reinforces that belief.

Read 7 Ways The Moon May Affect Your Health

What do you think? Do you notice people acting differently around the time of the full Moon? Share your thoughts below!

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  • Rebekah S says:

    I find that for at least 10 days BEFORE the full moon, I have really bad luck.

    I first noticed it in November 2018 after several incidents happened, all before the full moon (which was on November 22, 2018). The first incident was that my mother was being nasty to me for no reason – I don’t neglect housework, I’m not lazy, I rarely drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t abuse drugs so I don’t know why she was being so nasty to me.

    The second (and most upsetting and memorable) incident, two days later, was that I went to my physician’s office. This was on November 13, 2018. The physician’s office also happened to be a local Walk-in Clinic available to the public. I went there, first thing in the morning. Even though I arrived before the clinic opened, there was already a huge lineup. (I counted 67 people. It has NEVER been that huge before.) When I got in, I saw someone who saw me two weeks before (my physician wasn’t available). The person (who will go by “Peter”; I can’t call him a doctor since he doesn’t deserve that title from the things he said to me) that I saw was nice to me the first time I saw him. The second time I saw Peter, he was a complete jerk. When he came in, he accused me of taking papers out of my own medical file – even though the medical file was outside the examination room in a file holder; I even emptied my pockets, purse, and told him to check the trash. The papers that he claimed were missing weren’t in any of those places and he didn’t apologize for the accusation. When I stated why I was there – to be refilled on an anti-anxiety medication, WHICH I HAD BEEN TAKING DAILY FOR THREE YEARS, he refused to write the prescription, even though he wrote it two weeks prior (I’m supposed to get monthly prescriptions from my family doctor who works at the clinic but wouldn’t be back until the following week). He told me that the only reason he wrote the prescription two weeks ago was because he pitied me! He also said he wouldn’t be writing the prescription this time. If he had just refused to write the prescription and none of the other things happened I would be frustrated but not upset. Also, what I was on was something that could give you seizures if you stopped it cold turkey. He didn’t care about that. Luckily I’m already on anti-seizure medication.

    Which brings me to the third incident: The day after I saw Peter, I got a call saying I was approved for a new anti-seizure drug (which I ended up later dropping because it gave me suicidal thoughts). I started taking it and, the day after I started taking it, I was in the mall when I suddenly lost my balance and badly injured myself (I didn’t go to the hospital since I was worried that I might get someone like Peter). I couldn’t take the new anti-seizure medication at night because it gave me insomnia so I had to put up with the side effects – loss of balance being one of them. After November 22nd things were better and I didn’t associate it with the Full Moon until bad things such as people being extreme jerks happened in the same timespan. I researched it and think that what happened, especially the second incident, has to do with the Full Moon.

  • Lucia says:

    Yeah….my fiance act like an asshole every full moon. He ignore me and even get mad without any reason. I have to marked on my calendar of it’s full moon. Even though I try to anticipate that even, still I get sick and tired of this thing. Gosh….I really need a person who can handle this phenomenon.

  • Arlene says:

    I have sleep deprivation during a full moon. I also can’t sleep unless a room is completely black.

  • Belle says:

    A friend of mine named Julie who works at a hospital in AZ, I’m not a hundred percent sure what she does though, I know she’s not a nurse exactly, said that the hospital is usually more filled up around the time of a full moon, and we were talking and I was very emotional and just weird and she told me to look outside… Sure enough, a full moon was out there. But it also could be PMS…….. Anyways, I’m not superstitious but I think that the time may affect people in some way- science doesn’t quite make every answer sufficient.

  • Lunaire says:

    I went bat sh angry and sent a billion emails this morning. My real email, my real name. I knew it was unreasonable but I couldn’t control myself. I do this every time I feel disrespected. And I won’t stop until there’s resolution. I wrote more emails trying to atone what I’d written and bury it, but all my emails came out full of expletives. I could not stop, something was pushing me to do this. I love the full moon. I’ve never made any connection. I’m in my 50’s now. I saw a beautiful moon out the window. Then suddenly it hit me: what if…? I mean I had heard the stories about emergency personnel.

    I shrugged it off. I’m not a cancer, I don’t have Cancer in my 3 primary signs. I woke up an hour ago and that’s all I could think about. I just did a search to find out when was the full moon last month, and then I went in my email to research the last “episode” I had. I thought we were in the last of December. But no: the date coincided exactly to the last time I did this… only much worse! Wow! Now I’m wondering. I always thought it was PMDD but that’s behind me. So what if??? Am I gonna have to make like Larry Talbot and have myself chained in a basement somewhere away from my front door and my computer and phone? I’ve seen when things affect me, and I always thought it was the monthly thing, and I’ve made it a point to post nasty comments randomly online: that way I was able to maintain a peaceful real life. Once I closed off, it never happened, it never existed. Now it turns out, I’m doing it with my real name, from my real – unblocked – phone number, and my real email…

    I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize this! What are we supposed to do? Why are some of us more prone to being influenced by a full moon? Well, here’s a major case where “Love is NOT the answer”! You’re not safe from this even if you love looking at the full moon as much as I do. What to do now? I feel like I’m on a roller coaster all over again, and I wanna get off. Is there any way to counteract this insanity that comes with a full moon? You know, if there were a god out there… why didn’t they make it so that the full moon makes us more productive, thinner, more kind and positive etc.?

    Why does this god-thing want us violent and mad? Maybe there are no gods but only devils? “If there is a god… must it be sane?”

  • James Mancini says:

    I just want to Say that all the Comments made before me prove one thing ! I don’t want to Debate it or ever check this again ? But why Jim one would ask ! I had many things go wrong since last nite I seen the moon was full after we got snow here in Conn , and said just going to put it out of my mind ! Today was such a weird day I’m not going into detail , After words I had with a person I never seen or met on the phone for 2 hours they keep sending me either to no one or Someone that also was dumb ,so I said the following to her — Are you ready ? I said I’m so confused by you people —- I said to her I would rather shoot myself then call here again ,,so ten minutes later 6 cops at my door one yelling with pointed rifle at me ,PUT YOUR HANDS UP ! Police came in my house took my weapon that was locked up in my room and said I can come back for it Friday . So I goggled full moon I got into this so you figure it out ! Don’t ask me because it is true

  • Amar singh says:

    Hello I am from India.we have so many secrets related to moon scripted in ancient documents (Upnishad , Tripitak etc. )..”Full moon day” , here we call it “Poornima” ..And all our great saint gain knowledge on full moon day (is it just a coincidence?)
    After that we call that day on there name like “Gautama the buddha” -“Buddh poornima”..
    There is something secret behind it…But thought process of western philosopher, scientist, psychologist and doctors is so “Mathematical, technical”.
    Here we call sun a creater, earth is parent and moon a destroyer…Like three phases- Plus-Nuetral-Minus…We belive all three have effect on us.

  • Mary says:

    Yes! I have an autistic adult son, and I work autistic teenagers for living, no one can tell me that all 17 of them not sleeping during the week of a full moon, is a coincidence. It’s usually a couple days before the full moon that we see the worst behavior, violence, combativeness, screaming, agitation, and not sleeping

  • Sherry says:

    I have trouble going to sleep when there’s a full or new moon. It’s 2:00 am and I’m still not sleepy.

  • Diane F Eaton says:

    I couldnt figure out why my dog was goin crazy wouldnt lay down acting crazy then me anxiety an depression couldnt sleep my daughter says we had full moon i looked this up been reading it

  • Scarlet Skilkestad says:

    Nature has an unparalleled way of exhibiting proof of the weather and it’s events. Raising livestock is a very good way to monitor the moon’s active roll on living beings. For instance, we see that most livestock’s reproductive cycle occur during a full moon. This also the the case in human beings for the most part. Not all,but most. When a lot of estrus is being emitted into the air, it stimulates the pituitary gland in the male. Which in turn increases hormonal stimulation. A lot of emotion goes along with sexual reproduction obviously…. The moon cycle plays a strategic roll in the birth and death cycle. Beginnings and endings. This is how our solar system plays a pivotal roll on the earth. My son has Aspergwrs and studies the solar system to the point of honing it down to a science! It was his brilliance that brought all these valid points to my attention!!! I’m very lucky to have him. All self taught. I live by the solar system and its movement around the earth. It all works hand in hand. Took my son to convince me, but now I understand the science of it. I’m sorry I ever doubted.

  • Kkwolf says:

    I believe that the moon does affect you. It is sad that doctors just dismiss the idea but this is because they don’t understand why. Some may go crazy others get pains it can depend based on your normal self and your daily routines. The full moon is known as a wolf moon but it can also affect those that are not wolves. I believe that the best does affect us humans and other creatures hiding among us that we don’t know about.

  • Yetenayet says:

    Well i think the full moon really affect human mind i am 29 years old and so many bad things happen in my life the most worse thing is always struggling not to make a suicide and whenever something bad happen or whenever i be suicidal everytime there a full moon on the sky watching me and laughing at me on my stuggle i notice this like 10 years a go and its like that the sad begin and when i look at the sky there is always a full moon . . . .

  • lili says:

    I never believed in such kind of “Moon Effect”. For me, It was more a kind of conspiracy theory. Then I became in a constant time frame heavy panic attacks. Which I could not control. My behavior went absolutely crazy. I could not understand why I am feeling like this. I noticed a few times that the moon was full when I hit the peek of my emotions. I had suicide feelings and went to the pharmacy to get an anti depressive medicament. But every time the full moon was over my feelings went back to normal and I was the happiest person in life again. Today I know that I’m becoming a emotional vampire when the moon starts waxing and I’m a monster when the full moon is up. But I now know why and that let me control it and give me a reason why. No need to take a medicament.

  • Jamie Lee says:

    I am a believer! The full moon does indeed affect our mind. Just around the time of the full moon, my wife alters herself into a mad woman, drives me nuts.
    But seriously, and this is just my opinion, we humans as a species only on the average use approximately 20% of our brain, I’m certainly no genuis, but 80% seems like an awful high percentage of brain not being used, shameful.
    We certainly have alot to learn, the unknown needs to be known, til then I will believe in my intuition, the power of our own minds could be prodigious, the universe is absolutely wide open anazing, allows the moon and sun to look over us all, allows mother nature to have her way with us, keep us guessing, shows us humility, rather impressive. So tomorrow night, when the moon is full, go a little crazy, have fun and just live, one thing is outright irrefutable, not getting out alive. Peace!

  • Joy D says:

    I definitely believe a full moon affects people, I’ve worked in various call centers since 2000 and every once in a while my co-workers and I will be getting bizarre, angry and off-the-wall callers, and we can hear each other comment on their last call “what is going on” and someone will say “is it a full moon” and sure enough it would be that night. No one could convince me otherwise.

  • Fureyous says:

    I would suggest that there is much we don’t understand yet. Anecdotally, it is clear that the full moon has an effect. Whether sociological or biological remains to be ascertained.

  • Arian says:

    I have worked in hospitals & nursing homes since 1989 as a social worker & guarantee the loonies emerge during full moons for whatever reasons.

  • Matthew Griffin says:

    About ten years back, I started to notice changes in the way I felt during the waxing and waning week of a full moon: mainly via panic attacks. Like clockwork, they would happen only on the day before a full moon (and rarely on the day after a full moon). It got to the point where I was marking it on a calendar. And even when not taking notice to the moon’s cycle, I would notice the effects of a panic attack coming on; I’d check the calendar and there it was, surely enough – the day before the full moon!
    I’d asked one friend in the medical field their opinion on “full moon madness” and they reported that “most Doctors will poo-poo the notion that the full moon has any effect on people; and the reason why is because they cannot explain it; and therefore they will dismiss it.” B.S.!
    Soon thereafter, I found a website that had about 22,000 people world-wide who suffer different effects during the waxing and waning week of the full moon.

  • Jen says:

    I can tell 3-4 days before a full moon is here. My anxiety goes crazy and I get angry, hyper and agitated easily. I think to myself.. why do I feel crazy lol! Then I realize there’s a full moon coming. I love it!

    • jennifer says:

      Me too!! My head feels full and tight. I get dizzy headed and nausea. Feel pretty bad with my anxiety is through the roof.

  • CADY ANT says:

    ANYONE WHO HAS WORKED WITH THE PUBLIC FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS KNOWS THAT THE MOON PHASE AFFECTS HUMAN BEHAVIOR. MUCH MORE EVIDENT WHEN DOING SHIFT WORK, SUCH AS NURSE OR FLIGHT ATTENDANT WHERE YOU ARE ACTUALLY DEALING WITH PEOPLE THROUGH THE NIGHT.

  • Tonya says:

    I never believed it before i thought it was stupid and crazy to believe that but then after I had kids I could tell a difference big time they act super bad and hyper and don’t get along for nothing yea I know kids do this but their is a major difference on a full moon compared to any other time and I absolutely do not believe in any superstitious whatsoever I really don’t care who agrees or disagree with me I just know what I see by experience over the last 9 years

  • Danny says:

    I have worked in a mental institution for around 27 years, and use to work as a bouncer in a night club for over 20 year, and have always said that the moon phase ( Full Moon ) effects people. When I worked in the night club, I could tell what kind of night it was going to be by the way people was acting. I would leave there and go to my regular job, and about all the clients there was effected by the moon. .

  • Ryan says:

    There sure are a lot of nutty posts on here… The “our bodies are mostly made of water so it makes sense the full moon pulls on us” is stupid, the moon isn’t any closer to Earth when full or not full, and as the article said, if you read it, a mosquito on your arm has more gravitational pull than the moon. As for people swearing they act more crazy on a full moon—maybe you’re just crazy 24/7? You hype your self up expecting a full moon. I’ve heard there’s more paranormal activity on a full moon as well but have never noticed that as a paranormal investigator.

  • Marthann Kohl-Fuhs says:

    When I worked in both mental health facilities and in nursing homes, I just dreaded full moons, almost everyone was edgy and during my overnight shifts, several were up agitated and restless all night.

  • Danielle says:

    It never fails whenever it’s a full moon I usually don’t know I have to look on the calendar once I start feeling kind of weird anxious and super emotional. I know firsthand the moon effects emotions. If you believe in astrology which I do I am a Cancer ruled by the moon which means I am extra emotional. Water represents emotions so it all comes together and makes total sense to me! Funny thing about science is it is humans doing these studies and human error is unavoidable.

  • Danielle says:

    It never fails whenever it’s a full moon I usually don’t know I have to look on the calendar once I start feeling kind of weird anxious and super emotional. I know firsthand the moon effects emotions. If you believe in astrology which I do I am a Cancer ruled by the moon which means I am extra emotional. Water represents emotions so it all comes together and makes total sense to me! Science is science

  • JEN says:

    When I did hospital rotations I was told by the ER staff that they expected more people coming in and would prepare for active shifts around the Full Moon time. It makes sense, the Moon affects the water tides on our planet. What are we all made mostly of? Water. There’s a belief around, that when you’re waiting for something pending, the Full Moon will likely bring the answer.

  • kathy says:

    My fiance hung himself a day before a full moon. NOBODY will convince me of the power of a full moon.

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