Syndicated by: Montana News
By Marc Kelley
Perhaps like many of you, attempting to understand the motivation behind the despicable and frankly lunatic behavior which appears to have again taken over in Washington DC this week, has left me with more questions than answers. As a person who believes gathering knowledge is the first step to understanding any situation, I have again, turned to the history books seeking answers.
We had a pretty tough night a few days ago. The dogs were restless, dreams which seemed to creep in to my slumber, became so real, discerning consciousness from the dream state seemed impossible. A bright silver light streamed into the room…not daylight, but something silent, and yet un-nerving. Perhaps, this could be the answer to why, people we have thought of as reasonable, honest and decent, are now acting as if some zombie-like infection, has taken over their minds. There is no scientific evidence to present and no epidemiology to explain this behavior and yet we have all witnessed the insanity first hand.
Perhaps the answer is closer than we might expect. My years working in the ER taught me to be wary of and to prepare, for the unexplained happenings, surrounding the full moon. Since the ancient times of the Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, it has been suggested because our brains are the wettest organ in our body, the water in our brain is subject to the same influences, as those exerted on the ocean tides.
One does not have to look very far to find those, who with all of their hearts, believe the power of the full moon, induces erratic behavior, causing increases in admissions to psychiatric hospitals for psychotic behavior, increases in both homicide and suicide rates, as well as, increased visits to the ER, fights at sporting events and even an uptick in dog bites. In researching this subject, I found five commonly held beliefs which are attributed to the effects of the full moon.
The Full Moon Makes People Crazy
Without a doubt, the most commonly held belief, is the full moon "makes people crazy." For centuries, people have believed in the effect the full moon has on the mind. Our vocabulary serves as a testament to this concept, the word "lunatic" comes from the Latin word "lunaticus", meaning moonstruck or crazy.
The Full Moon Interferes With Sleep
Of the five commonly held beliefs concerning the effects of the full moon on we mortals, modern science seems to be readily embracing this concept. While no evidence can be found to support the contention, it is the moons lunar effect, which causes increased agitation, there is evidence, the increased light given off by the full moon, may well be the cause, for some sleep disturbances.
The Full Moon Causes People to Become More Aggressive
Again, a lack of empirical evidence proving increased aggression correlates to the full moon, is in short supply. Research into the phenomenon of the full moons effect on aggression, has been being conducted since the 1970's. The conclusions of this research, is anything but conclusive. While some studies find increases in reported aggravated assaults around the time of a full moon, other studies have found crime in general is more common during the full moon, but stops well short, of confirming a correlation between increased violence and the lunar cycle.
The Full Moon Effects Animals
Here too, a person does not have to look very far to hear countless stories of animals behaving strangely around the time of the full moon. Interestingly, there are several studies on the subject of "dog bites", which do tend to show a correlation between the full moon and the number of reported bites. Having a tendency to give the benefit of the doubt to the animal, some researches point to the idea, during a full moon, we humans are more active; and as such, interrupt the routine of our best friends. Dogs are very much creatures of habit and perhaps we are simply interfering with their normal routine and they feel impelled, to let us know, of their displeasure.
The Full Moon Increases Risk Taking Behaviors in People
Here again, hard science has been unable to definitively tie an increase in "risk taking behaviors" to the full moon. However, ample anecdotal evidence can be found in any ER in the country. Without a doubt, the most common reason people show up to the ER, is because of stupidity….theirs or someone else's. A full moon only serves to provide a romantic setting for what otherwise might be seen as simply, a bad idea. Countless visits to the ER begin with the statement…."hold my beer and watch this." As much as I personally would like to dismiss the moon, as playing a role in the increased occurrence of risk taking behaviors, far too many years working in the ER have left vivid impressions in my mind. Witnessing the results of some of the most absurd decision making processes, during which a full moon was present, has left me with little doubt, there is certainly credence to this concept.
Whether or not you yourself, believe in the influences of the full moon, the media and the oh so enlightened celebrities in Hollywood have made a fortune, selling this concept. Horror movies always take place during the full moon and the mental hospital is always lit by the light of the silvery moon. Blaming the full moon, for the behavior of our politicians seems to be based on a series of long held beliefs. It is only when you study this behavior long term, does it become readily apparent the minds of our politicians were lost long ago and the only solution to the problem will be brought to bear, by We the People.