A lession in Anger Management & Excited Delirium
By Eddie Griffin
I prefer solitary confinement in prison. Whenever I am at peace with myself and God, I can sleep easier without having to deal with so many crazy people walking around on the prison compound carrying knives. I could rest at night, cover my head, and give my heart some peace.
But they would not let me rest. They would not allow me to sleep. Every hour, on the hour, a prison guard would come around banging on the bars, and tapping me on the feet. “Show me some skin,” he would demand.
With my peace broken, I raise my head from under the blank in the cold cell block, and show him that I am still alive- every hour, on the hour.
They call it “sleep deprivation”, keeping a prisoner awake continually- not allowing him to sleep.
I don’t know when I began to hallucinate. I had lost all concept of time. But shadows began to appear, flying across the cell, darting across the floor like mice, with echoes in the dark. They kept a light shining in my room, day and night.
At some point, my mind went black, and found myself standing between heaven and hell, straddled the earth, a naked gladiator, and “the pigs” were coming at me- and I was fighting them off.
In actually, I was getting my butt whipped by prison guards, and being dragged out of solitary confinement to a solitary hospital cell when they shot my butt with drugs- so much for going out the hard way, like a hero.
I guess this is the psychological problem call “excited delirium”.
What do you think, Doctor?
Sleep deprivation is used as an interrogation technique... by coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Interrogation victims are kept awake for several days; when they are finally allowed to fall asleep, they are suddenly awakened and questioned.
Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister from 1977-83 described his experience of sleep deprivation when a prisoner of the KGB in Russia as follows, "In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it."