Dr. Terry Kupers, M.D.

Dr. Kupers on Time.com

From the article on Time.com: "What 43 Years of Solitary Confinement Does to the Mind"

"Though the impact of solitary confinement can differ person to person, there are some basic symptoms that are particularly widespread among inmates. Prisoners of long-term confinement -- which Dr. Terry Kupers, a professor of psychiatry at the Wright Institute in Berkeley California says is about three months, though for some effects start to appear much sooner -- often experience high anxiety that can cause panic attacks, paranoia and disordered thinking, as well as anger and compulsive actions, like pacing or repeatedly cleaning the cell. Basic cognitive functions are also dulled. "I have prisoners tell me they quit reading, which is one of the only things you can sometimes do," says Kupers. "I ask why, and they say it's because they can't remember what they read three pages before."