The psychological effect of being enclosed into a space with no human interaction would be damaging mentally. People who are constantly socially isolated are more likely to have elevated stress and inflammatory levels. It is argued that recent increases in emotions of loneliness, isolation, and alienation may be explained by a societal decrease in social connection, and that loneliness may be one of the key reasons people seek psychiatric therapy.
Solitary confinement is a type of imprisonment in which the offender is confined to a single cell and has little or no meaningful connection with other people. Corrections authorities frequently justify their use of solitary confinement as a successful method of keeping order and discouraging violence and gang activity. These, in turn, can endanger practically every physical system, including the brain’s health. Humans demand social interaction.
Isolation, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, can be as agonizing as physical torture. In the article it states, “A substantial body of research suggests that solitary confinement has negative psychological impacts and raises the risk of serious injury for those who are subjected to it.” Isolation can produce a variety of mental health issues over time. Some include depression, anxiety, stress, problems with attention, concentration, and memory, self harm, etc. In fact, long periods without human interaction have been found to cause physical shrinkage of the area of the brain responsible for memory.
And, because humans are naturally social beings, depriving people of their ability to socialize can result in “social pain,” which is the anguish and distress caused by bad social experiences such as social deprivation, isolation, rejection, or loss. Social pain impacts the brain in the same way that physical pain does, and it can cause much more suffering since people can feel social pain months or even years afterwards.
Psychological distress and loneliness, on the other hand, can both contribute to physical health issues such as chronic headaches, dizziness, weariness, sleep problems, weight loss, and so on. Mental and physical health are inextricably linked.
An example being, allowing others to enter your room for a simple talk will cost you in the long run. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a parent or sibling. Good social interaction among peers fosters a lively link between a group and individuals. Most people have difficulty making social contact because they lack confidence. Having those light interactions will eventually boost your self-esteem. In truth, it also strengthens the bond between family members.
In opposition, an introvert is a person who exhibits traits of the introverted personality type, which implies they prefer to focus on their inner thoughts and ideas rather than what is going on around them. Many people who do not understand introverts believe that their need to be alone in a room with the door locked is a symptom of sadness.
This behavior, however, is prevalent among introverts and does not indicate a withdrawal from life. They require time alone to regain some of their energy because being among others exhausts them. Being alone also gives folks the opportunity to contemplate and figure things out without interruption. Introverts despise large parties and prefer to spend their time with only one or two other people.
The negative health effects of social isolation range from insomnia to impaired immunological function. Non-specific symptoms of stress, anxiety, and sadness are referred to as psychological discomfort. High levels of psychological distress indicate poor mental health and may be suggestive of common mental diseases such as depression and anxiety disorders. A lack of physical exercise can also make managing or preventing some health disorders difficult, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. A lack of sunlight for an extended period of time can result in vitamin D insufficiency, which puts older persons at risk of fractures and falls. These injuries are one of the primary causes of hospitalization and death among the elderly.
A recent pandemic most recognizably as the CoronaVirus (COVID-19),) is a virus-borne infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The disease became a pandemic within months of the first case being reported in Wuhan, China. Those infected by the virus have been told to quarantine for about 10-14 days with no regular visitations.
Quarantine is used to segregate those who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those who do not. Separates and limits the mobility of persons who have been exposed to a contagious disease in order to determine if they become ill. Measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, such as quarantine and isolation, may have harmful psychological and social consequences.
The majority of the expected immediate repercussions of quarantine and accompanying social and physical isolation, such as financial uncertainty, boredom, irritation, feeling burdened, loneliness, and dread, are risk factors for mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, suicide, and self-harm. In these situations, care and actions to protect the mental health and psychological well-being of the quarantined population are necessary. In the article, “Quarantine an effective mode for control of the spread of COVID19? A review,” published by the National Library of Medicine, they stated,
The adoption of harsh quarantine measures is also proven to have major economic, psychological, and societal consequences. In general, quarantine procedures are known to produce up to four times more post-traumatic stress in detained individuals than in non-quarantined individuals.
Longer isolation periods of more than 10 days resulted in considerably more post-traumatic stress symptoms than shorter quarantine periods of less than 10 days.
Loneliness is a universal human feeling that is nuanced and distinct to each person. Because there is no one cause, the prevention and treatment of this potentially harmful state of mind can vary greatly. Isolation may be the ideal setting for negative, self-critical thoughts. We all possess an inner voice, a nasty coach who dwells within our minds and seeks ways to condemn us. These “critical inner voices” tend to increase when we are alone with our thoughts. In this manner, we are our own worst adversary.
Bainbridge, C. (2021, February 22). The truth about introverts and their specific needs. Verywell Family. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/all-about-introverts-1449354
Firestone, L. (2017, September 11). Being alone: The Pros and cons of time alone. PsychAlive. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.psychalive.org/being-alone/
MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Effects of solitary confinement on mental and physical health. Medical News Today. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/solitary-confinement-effects#physical-health-effects
Patel, A., Patel, S., Fulzele, P., Mohod, S., & Chhabra, K. G. (2020, August 25). Quarantine an effective mode for control of the spread of Covid19? A Review. Journal of family medicine and primary care. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7586567/
Wang, Y., Shi, L., Que, J., Lu, Q., Liu, L., Lu, Z., Xu, Y., Liu, J., Sun, Y., Meng, S., Yuan, K., Ran, M., Lu, L., Bao, Y., & Shi, J. (2021, January 22). The impact of quarantine on mental health status among general population in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature News. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-021-01019-y