Description: How are you doing with social isolation? Perhaps you are too busy juggling work and children and relationships gone virtual or perhaps you are bored to tears with no new Netflix options and no live sports to watch. Have you thought about the similarities between your current situation and solitary confinement (well, with family maybe)? We are social creatures even if we are introverts and these days are typically at least and perhaps as Kim Snow a child and family therapist suggests at worst a First World Disaster. Typically, we do not take much time to stop and think about our current circumstances or about how we are doing but our present circumstances are most certainly NOT typical. It is worth pausing and reflecting a bit if only to better understand why our current circumstances feel so weird (to use a technical term). So give the article linked below a read and use it as a lead-in to thinking a bit about how your current stretch of solitary (or not-so solitary) confinement is going. That could give you some perspective if you are too busy and something to think about if you are bored.
Source: Coronavirus: The psychology of a “First World disaster,” Enzo DiMatteo, Now Toronto.
Date: April 8, 2020
So, had you through of your current situation as solitary confinement and if not did the research on its effects noted in the article get you thinking about parts of how you are feeling right now? Some of this sort of reflection is necessary if we are to engage in effective self-care especially when our current experiences are as novel as they are. A challenge but also an opportunity for self-insight.
Questions for Discussion:
- How are your current circumstance like or not like solitary confinement?
- What are some things in the way of feelings or thoughts that you are thinking differently about after having read the article linked above?
- When social isolation restrictions start to lift, we will ‘get back to normal.’ What will that mean for you and are there areas or things you are thinking about that will be or that you will try to do differently.
References (Read Further):
Perrin, P. C., McCabe, O. L., Everly, G. S., & Links, J. M. (2009). Preparing for an influenza pandemic: mental health considerations. Prehospital and disaster medicine, 24(3), 223-230. Link
The World Health Organization (2014) Prisons and Health, Link
Grassian, S. (2006). Psychiatric effects of solitary confinement. Wash. UJL & Pol’y, 22, 325. Link
Smith, P. S. (2006). The effects of solitary confinement on prison inmates: A brief history and review of the literature. Crime and justice, 34(1), 441-528. Link
Haney, C. (2018). The psychological effects of solitary confinement: A systematic critique. Crime and Justice, 47(1), 365-416. Link