The word lunatic is borrowed from the Latin "lunacus", in turns stemming from "luna" (moon), which denotes the traditional link made in folklore between madness and the phases of the moon. This probably refers to the symptoms of cyclic mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or cyclothymia, the symptoms of which may also go through phases. As yet there no evidence whatsoever for any causal link between phases of the moon and the progression of mood disorder symptoms. Correlation has been observed in distant parts.
Mental institutions used to be called "lunatic asylums" or colloquially, "loony bins". In Russian, Polish, Czech and Slovak, a lunatic refers to a sleepwalker, literally "one who walks under the moon" or "moon walker". In Romanian, a word with the meaning of "lunatic" is "zănatic", derived from Latin "dianaticus", from Diana, the Roman goddess of the Moon.
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