Effects of solitary confinement explored in online experiment, Nat Geo Explorer episode

On April 11 at 9 p.m., the National Geographic Channel will air an episode of Explorer about solitary confinement that “looks at the science of solitary and discovers what it means to be absolutely alone,” like 80,000 US prisoners are. The documentary includes “experiments on whether isolation dramatically alters behavior and ongoing new research on how solitary actually could cause long-term mental problems like paranoia, disorientation and delirium,” according to the network.

To publicize the show, the network has locked three people in solitary confinement, and is broadcasting a feed from each room on the Internet. They entered the cells on Friday morning and can leave at any time. So, if you’re missing Fox Reality’s Solitary, check in before these people check out.

However, as is apparent in this clip from the documentary about how solitary confinement and loneliness affects people, it’s not all that amusing:

This clip focuses on the mental health of prisoners who are in solitary confinement:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.