The Frightening Things That Happen to Your Body When You Go to Prison

The prison door slams shut behind you as you desperately search for a way to survive your sentence. Your mind races as the clock starts on the frightening changes that will impact your mind and body when you go to prison. Some changes could last a lifetime.

Whether you are incarcerated for days or years, here is what could transpire while behind bars. No. 6 will blow your mind.

1. You may become sedentary

On top of sleeping, some prisoners spend nine hours a day in bed. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

One study found most prisoners don’t meet the minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. In fact, some prisoners lie in bed for more than nine hours per day.

Next: Some use their time to get in shape.

2. Or you could get ripped and drop pounds

Some prisoners get in incredible shape. | MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images

One former prisoner blogged about how he got in shape during his stint in prison and used the time to workout and eat healthier. Incarcerated celebrities also lost weight behind bars and include Abby Lee Miller, Teresa Giudice and Martha Stewart.

Next: Risky behavior is more attractive. 

3. You may develop an appetite for taking risks

HIV/AIDS is common in prison.| RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

Taking more chances and risky behavior may increase as you may feel as though, at this point, you have nothing to lose. One
epidemic risk for both male and female inmates is contracting HIV/AIDS, as the inmate population lives in limited and close quarters.

Next: Getting a good night of sleep may be challenging.  

4. Your sleep patterns change

Confinement and being around others is a recipe for insomnia. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Being confined may lessen your ability to get a good night of sleep, which may lead to chronic insomnia, one study found. Lack of sleep leads to a number of health problems and was also found to contribute toward aggressive behavior in prison.

Next: You may become more childlike.

5. Connections become more primal

Games are popular for a reason in prison. |  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As the cerebral cortex begins to shut down in prison, you’ll revert to more childlike behaviors and immature ways to connect, A&E TV reports. “It is part of the reason you see so many people in jail reverting to primitive kinds of behaviors and ways of relating,” Dr. Jamie Blandino told A&E TV.

Next: Anxiety may become commonplace. 

6. Stress hormones go into overdrive

The brain has a hard time cooine with confinement. | China Photos/Getty Images

Stress hormones may recede after being incarcerated for some time, but you could experience panic attacks and have a hard time concentrating, depending upon how you handle stress. Those in solitary confinement may hallucinate and could suffer permanent brain damage from lengthy exposure to the stress hormone, Dr. Barbara Kirwin told A&E TV.

Next: Food tastes differently, especially once you are released. 

7. Your sense of taste changes

Fife and Drum prison restaurant

After a long prison stint, food tastes different. | Zagat via Youtube

One former prisoner blogged about his experience eating and drinking after being released from prison to Slate. “I’ve also had some challenges getting used to eating with silverware and real plates. During the entire time that I served in prison, I ate with plastic. Metal now tastes strange in my mouth, and it still feels strange for me to drink out of a glass.”

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