Can you compare solitary confinement to living with chronic pain?

When there is little or no light at the end of the tunnel, all hope can be lost…

Has the drug war had this effect on chronic pain patients?

“I was only in solitary confinement for a matter of days, but I fervently wanted to die,” K.L. Blakinger, who served time in a women’s prison in New York, tells VICE. “Had I been in there longer, I surely would have figured out a way. I had a previous suicide attempt in 2007, before my incarceration. I jumped off a bridge. Anyone with that sort of mental health history probably should not be placed in solitary confinement. I spent time contemplating whether I could stand on the sink and fall onto the desk at such an angle that I would crack my head open and die.”

The total and complete feeling of powerlessness can overwhelm an individual in solitary. Being locked down 24/7 in a ten-by-six cell with a slot in the door to receive your food and no access to the outside world or even other people can be devastating…

“I think it is difficult to truly understand the mental stresses of solitary until you’ve actually been there. Some people think that solitary confinement is basically just spending some alone time. It’s not. It’s like being buried alive.” …

Time stops…

Researchers have found that the conditions of extreme social and environmental deprivation in solitary confinement units cause a variety of negative physiological and psychological reactions, such as hallucinations, sleeplessness, severe and chronic depression, self-mutilation, rage, anxiety, paranoia, and lower levels of brain function, including a decline in EEG activity after only seven days—even in individuals who formerly had no mental illness.” …

Many of these descriptions of solitary confinement can also be used to describe a chronic pain condition. Chronic pain can be a prison for your body, and also for your mind. Treatments like art therapy and even blogging can help keep your mind out of prison, but it’s usually drugs which can help to relieve your body from the prison of constant pain.

“The federal courts have found that placing individuals with serious mental illnesses in solitary confinement violates the Eight Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment…

Isn’t it cruel and unusual punishment to make a chronic pain patient suffer from the confinement of having no access to drugs that can relieve the pain?

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