Quirky Minds: Amputee Wannabes


[edit] Original article

[edit] Author(s)

Adams, William Lee

[edit] Source

Psychology Today, Jul/Aug 2007. Original found on Psychology Today.

[edit] Abstract/Overview

A brief introduction to the concept of BIID. Short, focusing only on amputee wannabes, but amazingly straightforward and balanced.

[edit] Comments/Analysis

"Robert suffers from Body Identity Integrity Disorder (BIID), a bizarre psychological condition in which people fixate on amputating healthy limbs to achieve their ideal body image."

Why is BIID so often referred to as a bizarre condition? If the public is repeatedly told that BIID is bizarre, that is what they will remember, and most often, what is perceived as bizarre is harder to accept. The mere act of labeling BIID bizarre sets BIID sufferers apart from everyone else.

The author, as so many others, ignored BIID sufferers who’s BIID does not focus on becoming an amputee. This is all the more disapointing as the author was in touch with us and we exchanged several emails. Apparently the editor made the decision not to discuss anything else than amputation. Talk about providing accurate information on Psychology Today!

"In addition to feeling trapped in the wrong body, sufferers often endure shame and depression."

Shame, depression, guilt. Negative feelings dragging us all down.

"The origins of the condition remain mysterious, though sufferers share similar histories."

Is it so important to understand the origins of the condition?

"Counseling and medication consistently fail to resolve BIID symptoms."

We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to say it until someone proves otherwise: Psychotherapy and drugs don’t make one whit of difference. The only viable solution for the majority of transabled individuals is surgery.

"Furthermore, surgeons will not perform amputations on people with BIID because bringing harm to patients violates the Hippocratic oath."

Well, that’s the reason given, but as we’ve said elsewhere, we disagree with the Hippocratic oath excuse.

"Sufferers contend that refusal of surgery harms them by prolonging their agony—and they may be right."

Thank you for the vote of confidence!!! Of course we’re right. People know their conditions best (well, according to the social model of disability, which we happen to prefer).

"According to First, in the few cases of elective amputation, patients report a complete end to their discomfort. "

First is right here. Although there is no systematic study of the success of surgery or self-injury, stories of people who have managed to finally get the impairment they needed have all pointed to the improved quality of life after the “event".

"He says that amputation resolved much of his anxiety and helped him feel comfortable in his body. However, he still struggles with depression stemming from years of hiding his condition."

The longer we wait before receiving the surgery we need, the more damage is done and the harder it will be to heal that.

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