Does The Moon Affect Our Moods? | Emotion Dysregulation

As someone with Borderline Personality Disorder who experiences intense emotions that often get dysregulated, I'm always interested in learning about possible causes or connections to shifts in mood. I'll even go so far as to consider the urban legend that the full moon can cause strange things to happen here on earth.

If you had asked me a few years ago, "Does the moon affect our moods?" I would have replied with:

"Well, our bodies are made mostly of water, and the moon has an effect on the tides -- so I imagine it must have an effect on us. I've heard that when we are directly under the moon, we weigh less. I've also heard that psychiatric emergency room nurses have confirmed that more people show up feeling psychotic or in distress on full moon nights."

When my yoga teacher and I had this conversation the other day over lunch and she said that she has also had psychiatric nurses tell her that they experienced the surge in patients on full moon nights, I decided that I wanted to look for any evidence out there that this theory is true. Does the moon really affect our moods?

It was important for me to find credible sources for this research (and there weren't many out there), so I started with this article by the well respected National Geographic News, which says:

"There is good reason to believe that people's personalities do change around the time of the full moon, not because of any astronomical force, but because it creates the optimum lighting conditions for feeling carefree and mischievous." -- Psychiatrist Glenn Wilson

The article also says that it may be coincidental when people feel off or something odd happens and it also happens to be a full moon night. They then assign blame to the moon as the cause.  It also goes on to say that no studies have been conducted long enough to see if the correlation between mood shifts are elevated during the full phase of the moon.

But how do we, those of us who have personally experienced this phenomenon -- those of us who have felt especially dysregulated, unaware of the full moon and only finding out after having our experience -- know for sure that there isn't a connection?

Do you believe there is a connection? Just because sufficient research hasn't been done to prove or disprove a connection, does that simply mean there isn't one?

Perhaps I want to hold onto the possibility of what may just be folklore, but I seem to consistently, personally notice a more intense shift in my mood during this time. I am open to the possibility that it is a coincidence, but I'd like to see more research done on this.  

The Universe and the human body itself are very intricate, complex systems.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn about an interconnection between the moon's pull on earth's atmosphere and our primarily water based bodies.

What is your perspective? Have you noticed an increase in emotional dysregulation in your self and others during the full moon? What do you make of it?

Thanks for reading.
More soon.


  1. this is something that has always interested me as both a person which suffers from a mental illness and a practicing pagan witch. as far back as Aristotle it has been thought that the moons rays affected a person in a negative way... later the term 'lunatic' was used to describe those who were mentally ill. lots of experiments and studies have been performed to gauge the moons effects - but like Debbie stated there are no definitive studies in the matter. right now its all very subjective and i think tied to a persons own personal experiences or feelings about the moon.

    while i dont think the moons rays can MAKE you mad as philosophers once did, i do personally believe that yes, the moon does affect us. my first reasoning is like Debbie's and our bodies are made mostly of water, if the tides are affected in a way that makes the great oceans rise and fall - then it makes perfect sense that our bodies must be affected. my second reason has to do with my belief system. the moon for a witch is a powerful personal and natural energy source still in this modern day and age. on full moon nights people all over the world still gather to celebrate and work magick, they have done this since the beginning of humanity. i think there is a cosmic consciousness that binds us all together... perhaps those who are emotionally sensitive subconsciously tap into that energy unprepared on full moon nights. i dont think people who have mental issues are out to hurt others, i think the problem really lies in the fact that those who are mentally unstable lack the ability to communicating overwhelming emotions once triggered.

    very interesting blog post, really gets one thinking :)

    1. Hi Tess,

      I've been looking forward to your perspective on this, and you certainly didn't disappoint!

      I wanted to know how, as a pagan, you viewed this debated issue. I like your reference to a common consciousness and your theory that emotionally unstable people may simply be unprepared to handle the more intensive energy that many believe is generated on a full moon night.

      Thank you for also tying in history, referencing the great philosopher Aristotle and for tying in the origin of the word "lunatic," with "Luna" being the Latin based word for moon.

      Intelligently presented, and I appreciate your perspective.

      In kindness,

  2. all i know it a full moon tonite, i am wide awake and still hyper :). i probs wont sleep but i am going to enjoy the internet and i played all my bills off so i cant go spending he he (maybe not so insightful but i am a believer in the full moon effect UK paramedics are on extra awareness of mental health the night.)



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