The gravitational pull from the moon has odd effects on planet Earth. From the spawning Salmon making their way hundreds of miles through rivers to the ocean’s tides and Earth’s own orbit. This is all elementary knowledge we all are familiar with. In fiction, the effects of a full moon seem a bit more dramatic. The powers of a full moon are said to transform man to beasts. Werewolves. Do the mythical stories have some truth?
In a study done in Australia, doctors say that there is a strong correlation between the moon’s gravitational pull and the spike in “odd” behavior in mental patients. Is this because of some chemical imbalance that is affecting the patients and exacerbated by the moon? or is it because of that elementary knowledge I was talking about. A priori .
In other words, can these patients have had some knowledge of the mythical werewolf creature and act out upon seeing the full moon?
These questions or puzzles have been around as long as the myths themselves. No one can really answer them. One puzzling question the article asked, I think I can answer:
“We don’t know if its more fun to use drugs and alcohol under a full moon…”
Full source: The Age
A study in an Australian hospital has identified a spike in out-of-control “werewolf” patients when a full moon is out.
There were 91 emergency patients rated as having violent and acute behavioural disturbance at the Calvary Mater Newcastle hospital from August 2008 to July 2009.
Leonie Calver, a clinical research nurse in toxicology, said almost a quarter of the cases (23 per cent) occurred on a night of full moon and this was double the number for other lunar phases.
The patients all had to be sedated and physically restrained to protect themselves and others.
“Some of these patients attacked the staff like animals – biting, spitting and scratching,” Ms Calver said.
“One might compare them with the werewolves of the past, who are said to have also appeared during the full moon.”
Ms Calver said werewolf mythology included reports of people rubbing “magic ointment” onto their skin or inhaling vapours to induce the shirt-rending transformation from man to beast.
The main ingredients were belladonna and nightshade, she said, both substances that could produce delirium, hallucinations and delusion of bodily metamorphosis.
Ms Calver said it appeared the “modern-day werewolf” preferred alcohol or illicit drugs, as more than 60 per cent of the patients reviewed in the study were under the influence.
“We don’t know if its more fun to use drugs and alcohol under a full moon or if their behavioural disturbance is directly influenced by the moon,” she said.
“Our findings support the premise that individuals with violent and acute behavioural disturbance are more likely to present to the emergency department during…full moon.”
The research is published in the pre-Christmas edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.