The Danger of Institutionalization: Dependency on Walls

Institutionalization is a term that is often used to describe the process by which individuals become acclimated to living within a structured and controlled environment, such as a prison or mental institution. The quote “Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First, you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. After long enough, you get so you depend on ‘em. That’s ‘institutionalized'” is a powerful statement that speaks to the concept of institutionalization and its impact on individuals.

When someone is institutionalized, they have been conditioned to the rules and routines of the institution to the point where they have become dependent on them. This process can be insidious, and it can happen slowly over time as a result of prolonged exposure to institutional environments.

One of the most significant effects of institutionalization is the loss of individuality and personal agency. In an institutional environment, there are strict rules and protocols that must be followed, and deviation from these norms can lead to severe consequences. Over time, individuals may come to accept these rules and protocols as normal, and they may even begin to internalize them, to the point where they no longer question their validity or necessity.

This loss of personal agency can be particularly damaging in situations where individuals are being held against their will, such as in a prison or mental institution. These individuals may feel as though they have no control over their lives and may become resigned to their fate, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Institutionalization can also lead to a sense of learned helplessness, where individuals feel powerless to change their circumstances, even if they are given the opportunity to do so. This can be a significant barrier to rehabilitation and reintegration into society, as individuals who have been institutionalized may struggle to adapt to life outside of the institution and may struggle to make decisions for themselves.

Ultimately, the quote “Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First, you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. After long enough, you get so you depend on ‘em. That’s ‘institutionalized'” serves as a stark reminder of the impact that institutionalization can have on individuals. It highlights the insidious nature of the process and the ways in which it can erode personal agency and individuality. As such, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks of institutionalization and to work to mitigate these risks wherever possible


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