At any given point in Origins, Anders is either locked in solitary confinement or experiencing the immediate aftermath of his year-long imprisonment.
Research has shown that solitary confinement causes:
- a range of mental health problems including anxiety, panic, insomnia, paranoia, aggression and depression
- irreversible psychological effects in as little as 15 days
- a specific psychiatric syndrome, characterised by hallucinations; panic attacks; overt paranoia; diminished impulse control; hypersensitivity to external stimuli; and difficulties with thinking, concentration and memory
An article on solitary confinement, published by Business Insider Australia, quotes a teen who stated that “[I felt] doomed, like I was being banished … like you have the plague, or you are the worst thing on earth. Like you are set apart [from] everything else.”
In Thedas, this mindset is reinforced by the fact that mages are actually seen to be “the worst thing(s) on earth” by the general population, and are banished from society to live in towers all their lives. It should also be noted that current-day solitary confinement is not carried out in a dark dungeon at the base of a tower in the middle of a lake.