What in the world do you do with a transabled teenager?
It has only been relatively recently that information about Body Integrity Identity Disorder has been easily accessible. In fact, it is with the advent of the internet that transabled individuals have been able to realise that they had in fact a condition that was real and that others shared with them. Until the early 2000's, most people in the "community" were in their 30's, 40's and older. There were not many youths, nor many women.
Every account of learning that transabled individuals aren't the only one to feel the way they do seems to express relief. For most people, they grew up with feelings of shame and guilt and isolation. They went through their youth, teenage years, and young adult alone in their struggle.
But there are more websites discussing BIID now than there were even a year ago. There are blogs, discussion groups, news articles, entries in encyclopedias. It is easy for teenagers to go online, and learn about body integrity identity disorder.
There may not be more teenagers with BIID than there was 20 years ago, but they are now able to access the information.
Adam recently made a comment about how he was told by a 14 year old girl about how she liked to "play" at being disabled:
One girl said that she had always wondered what it was like to use a chair and sometimes she pretended to be “crippled”. She seemed kinda embarrised about it but I said that I have some friends that use wheelchairs that are AB. Her face lit up when I said that and I started to wonder if she is “one of us”
There are kids around, growing up with this condition.
What are we to do about it? How can we help them, other than supporting them if they reach out? Will they ever get the assistance we didn't get? Do you encourage them to acquire hardware and pretend? Do you recommend they come out to their parents? Do you tell them they need to start therapy? So many questions, not many answers at all.
If you are a teenager and you believe you have Body Integrity Identity Disorder, please don't hesitate to contact us. There is not much we can do, but we can listen. And we can share our experiences with you.