Oh, Snap! (kutsuwamushi) wrote in little_details,
Oh, Snap!
kutsuwamushi
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ANON POST: psychological effects of sleep deprivation as child abuse

I'm writing about the more long term effects of a now-adult child abuse victim who suffered severe sleep deprivation an average of two to three times a week roughly between the ages of eight and twelve - kept awake an average of twenty-something hours and then allowed sleep only when it was disrupted by noise and light in the room where he slept, usually on the floor. This abuse occurred at the same time that he was regularly denied food - not to the extent that it reached a state of semi-starvation but enough that, combined with the unhealthiness of the food given, at least slightly stunted his growth. The story's set in an alternate universe that's close to current day, not that it really seems to matter in regards to the effects of the deprivation.

What I'm really looking for is a more in-depth idea of the psychological effects of this type of abuse beyond the basic long term effects I've found regarding health risks and the usual mentions of increased confusion and frustration.

I.e., is it believable for him to suffer paranoia/suspicion of others when someone keeps him from sleep, and am I wrong in writing him as having an ability to change his sleep habits easily when his brain decides its what needed to survive? Similarly, would the sleep deprivation have exacerbated the effects of the malnutrition experienced at the same time or am I relying on it too much in regards to his psychological state after he reaches adulthood?

Searched under various permutations of "sleep deprivation child abuse," "long term effects of sleep deprivation," "sleep deprivation torture," and "sleep deprivation malnourishment."
Tags: ~medicine (misc), ~medicine: starvation/malnourishment, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc), ~torture
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