Treatment Protocol


[edit] Not about a cure

We do not believe in curing transabled individuals of their Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Curing implies the erradication of the feelings. Curing also implies that what needs to be cured is negative, in and of itself. Treating, on the other hand, is about giving people ways to improve their lives, if people desire it. Most individuals who have BIID are not distressed because of their BIID. They are distressed that they cannot align their physical body with their body image.

[edit] So what do we mean by treatment?

We mean any device(s), procedure(s) or action(s) that assist someone who is transabled in feeling better. We don’t believe that the optimal result of treatment would be the eradication of the transabled feelings, but we do not reject that possibility.

[edit] Self-treatment as opposed to medically accepted treatment

At the moment, most treatment courses must be self-administered as there are no medically recognised nor accepted treatment protocols. Ideally the medical community, both medical doctors and psychotherapists, would be able to follow an established set of options, and people who have BIID would be able to be handled appropriately by the medical community (as opposed to the repeated anecdotal evidence we have of transabled people being ignored, abused, mistreated, and refused treatment).

[edit] Relationship to the gender community

We believe there are many similarities between transabled and transgendered folks. As such, we draw many parralels in a suggested treatment course.

[edit] Relationship to depression

In treating transability, it is important to acknowledge that many transabled individuals also have to deal with depression, and that treating transability does not in and of itself remove depression, nor that handling depression removes BIID. That said, it is usually the case that when depression and BIID are both present in an individual, they aggravate one another. Depression must be addressed in the course of treating BIID.

[edit] Treatment protocol

In looking at treatment, there are several main "tools" or steps that may be effective. A combination of each "tool" may have successful result for different people to different degree. Some of the tools may have no effect at all. Some other may raise other unrelated issues. Each step may be followed/used in any order desired, except for surgery, which always should be a last resort.

  1. Medication
  2. Psychotherapy
  3. "Pretending" (full or part time)
  4. Surgery

[edit] Medication

While the author has had no success in using medication to mitigate BIID, it is possible that some other people would have success. Medication may also be successful in reducing the effect of depression on transability, and as such could prove useful in focusing an individual on the issues of transability.

[edit] Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is important for the individual to gain a better understanding of themselves. It is not unusual for transgendered individuals to embark upon therapy with the goal of undergoing sex reassignment surgery only to discover that they don’t really believe this is the option for them. The author has met many transabled individuals whom I think would discover that an actual impairment is not the answer for them, and this could be found during therapy.

The author also knows of someone who has succesfully managed her transability just through therapy, and went from needing to be a DAK to being quite happy being AB and not have a disability.

[edit] Pretending

We use the word "pretending" rather losely here. Perhaps the concept of "real life test" would be more appropriate. Using a wheelchair or blindsimming may be a good outlet to release frustrations or to feel better, and as such, can be a valuable technique. There are reports of psychotherapists recommending their patients use a wheelchair as a form of therapy. Some people report that using a wheelchair full time while not being disabled evokes greater frustration as they feel they can almost touch "it", yet it is always just out of reach. Others report that they feel much better when wheeling, pretending to be an amputee or blindsimming.

It is our opinion that before going for surgery, someone should experience disability as near as possible through long term "pretending". While it is not possible to fully know what it will be like, it gives a greater insight than would otherwise be possible, and I think many people would have a change of heart.

It is also possible that people would decide that this would be enough for them, that they don’t need to go for surgery in the end. This also happens somewhat regularly in the gender community, where people end up living full time in their gender "of choice" without actually going for SRS.

This is a difficulty for those who wish to be amputees. Obviously, it is easier to sit in a wheelchair and be perceived as a paraplegic or put opaque contact lenses and go out blind than it is to hide a limb. There might be options to create restrictive braces that may simulate a mobility impairment. This wouldn’t be anywhere near the real thing, but might be an option.

[edit] Surgery

Finally, the option of surgery. We do not believe that surgery is the answer for everyone, but certainly for some. And because it is irreversible, the decision to do surgery must be arrived at after careful (and guided) consideration.

[edit] Successful result?

How is success measured? As we already said, we don’t think that the eradication of the transabled feeling should be the benchmark, but this may be success for some people. To us, success would come when the individual is finally at peace with themselves and their feelings as it relates to transability. They may still feel depression to some level, but transability would be kept at bay, or "resolved".

[edit] Once transabled, always transabled.

We firmly believe that one remains transabled even once they have resolved the issues in whichever manner that worked for them, whether it’s therapy, surgery, or full-time pretending. We think the transabled feelings don’t leave you, they just leave you in peace. Yes, you may have undergone surgery and now be an amputee, but you still have BIID.

By Webmaster. Adapted from Cure Vs. Treatment Protocol.

See also: Do you have BIID for life? Why are disabled people happy?

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