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Accused of spying, they were kept in solitary confinement in Evin prison in Tehran, each in their own tiny cell. She endured almost 10,000 hours with little human contact before she was freed. One of the most disturbing effects was the hallucinations.
“In the periphery of my vision, I began to see flashing lights, only to jerk my head around to find that nothing was there,” she wrote in the New York Times in 2011. “At one point, I heard someone screaming, and it wasn’t until I felt the hands of one of the friendlier guards on my face, trying to revive me, that I realized the screams were my own.”
We all want to be alone from time to time, to escape the demands of our colleagues or the hassle of crowds. But not alone alone. For most people, prolonged social isolation is all bad, particularly mentally. We know this not only from reports by people like Shourd who have experienced it first-hand, but also from psychological experiments on the effects of isolation and sensory deprivation, some of which had to be called off due to the extreme and bizarre reactions of those involved.
originally posted by: OrphanApology
a reply to: eisegesis
Yes, and people wonder why we're having issues with many of this generation that's a prison society. The majority of people who go to prison end up in solitary at some point. I think it takes less than a week for it to be permanently psychologically damaging.
There's a really good National Geographic doc on Netflix about solitary but couldn't find it on youtube. So here's some free youtubes.
originally posted by: IAMAMOG
kind of makes you feel bad for the solitary gorilla at the zoo doesnt it
originally posted by: VictorVonDoom
a reply to: eisegesis
I would speculate that any American hiking near the Iraq / Iran border in the summer for fun probably wasn't all that mentally stable to begin with.
According to government figures released in 2010, there are 700,000 individuals living as hikikomori with an average age of 31.
originally posted by: skunkape23
I've done three months in county. I intentionally got thrown in solitary. A 20 man tank is not my environment. I ate, slept, and worked out. I was glad to get out, but it wasn't so bad in the hole. I definitely prefer it over general population.
originally posted by: kismetpair927
a reply to: eisegesis
This makes me think of the MANY people who live in their tiny apartment-cages. Working online with no contact with people, gaming online, ordering in (hey maybe they chat to the delivery guy!).
Hikikomori---Isolated Youths in Japan
Willing Isolation in Japan noted back in 2006
I'm here on the west coast, and we hear about this sort of stuff in Japan constantly. Hubby just mentioned a book about hikikomori called "Shutting Out the Sun"---apparently it is by the whisleblower of Fukushima.
Amazon---Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
S&F for bringing up something that desperately needs to be discussed and researched.
Built for "salarymen" who missed the last train home after staying out drinking, capsule hotels are now the homes of last resort for Japan's unemployed, according to the New York Times. Each 6 1/2-foot by 5-foot "room" contains a bed, a TV, and a pair of coat hooks. So what if the place looks like a microwave oven museum? For the hundred or so Japanese who rent the cubicles long term, it beats living on the streets.
(North Asia correspondent, Mark Willacy- Tokyo).
“It’s not political deadlock or economic meltdown, but loneliness. Within a couple of decades, single person households will be the dominant demographic in Japan, and there have been a litany of cases in recent times of dozens of people dying alone. Increasing incidences of divorce, a plummeting birth rate and a lengthening average life span are making life an extremely solitary experience for millions. But some see this lonely demographic as an untapped business opportunity…”
“Hikikomori is a Japanese phenomenon in which a young person, usually male, withdraws entirely from society, isolating and often confining themselves to their home. The concept has been depicted in anime several times, most notably in Welcome to the NHK” (Anime Network).
But is unhappiness primarily a result of being weary of pain, or is it pleasure? As Blaise Pascal once said: “There is a god shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” Loneliness in Japan is a result of deeper spiritual hunger that cannot be diagnosed or fulfilled by politicians. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5: 3). Only God can fill the spiritual void in human hearts.