Solitary confinementRead Now
I would like to touch on an issue that partially relates to LPS conservatorship and mental health treatment. Solitary confinement as a means of controlling behaviour and managing psychosis. Multiple studies have been published citing how solitary confinement does not make anything better but rather leads to an increase in psychosis and hallucinations. Humans are social creatures who need interaction to maintain a semblance of sanity. Having been in solitary myself in psych and the joint I can tell you that no matter how sane you are it grinds on a person. The hours creep by and in my case your entire day is measured in increments of 15 minutes. The clock continues to tick down the minutes until the timer rings at 15 minutes, someone checks in for 30 seconds and leaves resetting the clock for another 15. This sense of reality can really mess with your head making you wonder if people will really come back for you. It is mental torture wondering what time of the day it is, being stripped down to nothing baring your nakedness for everyone else, and waiting for someone to check a box. When in solitary, you are given nothing but a hole to piss and poop. Food is slid through a slot twice a day. It is a demeaning experience that makes you realize that in a matter of seconds your existence can be narrowed to a mere 30 seconds of a person checking a box to ensure that you are still alive.
We should be looking for other treatment modalities that do not involve solitary isolation. There is no need to separate an agitated person from society in order to "calm them down". The person will be placed in four/five point restraints in order to prevent bodily harm to others and themselves. This is understandable in extreme cases, but far too often I see patients placed in restraints and isolated before they have escalated. Something as simple as yelling or scratching their arms warrants time in the "hole" as people call it. Being in isolation with no idea of the time or when they will be allowed tends to drive them crazy worsening the symptoms the treating staff intended to reduce in the first place. We should be as a community of providers looking for more effective treatment methods rather than solitary. Spending 24 hrs in solitary is not beneficial for anyone is considered inhumane.
Leave a Reply.
Juvenile Dependency and