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Lust for lacking limbs, (yes, seriously)

Mental Health Comments (5)

It may still be strange to you, but it’s not uncommon to hear a story about a person who claims to have been born in the wrong body, or just with the wrong parts. These fall under the more or less familiar category of gender identity disorder (GID). Somehow though, I doubt you’re familiar with this one’s distant psychologically challenged cousin. I think it’s time to meet Body Integrity Identity Disorder.

Yes, it involves some of the same slicing, dicing and overall body altering as GID, but I’d have to say this one’s just a little more…extreme? Well, I guess that’s up to you to decide.

Also known as BIID, this unofficially recognized (means it’s not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, otherwise known as the bible of the mental health community) mental disorder is characterized simply by a burning desire to have something amputated.

No, you read the previous sentence correctly. People suffering from this actually wish, pray, yearn, and just plain want one or more limbs cut and removed from their bodies.

People interviewed with BIID describe the feeling as “overwhelming” and many have turned to doctors to help them achieve their goal of less limbs.

One Scottish doctor, as reported by Fox News, made headlines back in 2000 when he amputated the healthy, perfectly functional legs of two BIID sufferers. The doctor claimed to be following the Hippocratic Oath by preventing his patients from resorting to more harmful methods of amputation.

Those “more harmful” methods the doctor was pointing to involve people jumping in from of moving vehicles, slamming windows and doors on appendages and some that just jump for the nearest machete or meat cleaver. (Again, I’m not kidding.)

Just when I was beginning to think that lacking limbs were only for war veterans, those born without them and the Barbie dolls my little brothers stole and ravaged from me when we were kids…. Guess I was wrong.

Brittany @ May 31, 2009

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