It is not known yet why people have this urge but, many are now talking about this condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID).
The human body and brain are full of mysteries and researchers are still unaware of everything that goes on inside us. One of those mysteries is how people who have lost a limb still feel it there. That is the feeling that a limb which is missing is still attached called the phantom limb syndrome. Then there are individuals who were born with a disorder that makes them feel that they should have been disabled. They either think that they shouldn't have functional limbs or that they shouldn't have been able to see.
It is not known yet why these people have this urge. However, more and more people are talking about this condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). Many of them have tried to harm themselves and some have succeeded. Those with this disorder are seeking to intentionally disable themselves and are calling it being transabled since they desire to be not able-bodied.
In one such case in North Carolina, the BIID was so strong with a woman that she convinced a sympathetic psychologist to pour drain cleaner into her eyes to become blind. Jewel Shuping, 30, has had a desire to lose her sight since she was a child, according to Daily Mail.
"My mother would find me walking in the halls at night when I was three or four years old," she said. "By the time I was six I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable." As a teenager, she started wearing thick black sunglasses and at 18, she started using a cane. By 20, she was fluent in braille.
To become blind, the psychologist first put numbing drops and some more of drain cleaner in each eye. The process was extremely painful but she thought that everything will be okay since she was becoming blind. She truly believes she was supposed to be born without eyes. "When there's nobody around you who feels the same way, you start to think that you're crazy. But I don't think I'm crazy, I just have a disorder," she added.
She is not the only person who has gone to excruciating lengths to make themselves disabled. 58-year-old research scientist, Chloe Jennings-White from West Bountiful, Utah, is seemingly normal. She enjoys skiing and is happily married. However, she too suffers from BIID. She seeks to amputate her legs or become paraplegic.
She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and has degrees from Cambridge and Stanford University. "When I’m in the wheelchair I’m not even thinking about the wheelchair. it's just normal for me, but anytime I’m walking it's always in my mind, sometimes dominating my mind, that this is not the way it's supposed to be,” Jennings-White was quoted as saying by HuffPost UK.
100% Physically Healthy Woman Wants to Live as a Disabled Person, Identifying as ‘Transabled’ https://t.co/6dJokkZF5N— UberFacts (@UberFacts) June 2, 2019
She realized as early as 4-year-old that she did not want her legs. Over the years, she has felt envy for disabled children and once tried to paralyze herself by riding a bike off a stage. She was left only with bruises and scrapes. She has spent years wondering if was "nuts". "Doing any activity that brings a chance of me becoming paraplegic gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID," she said.
There are scientists studying this phenomenon. One such scholar, Professor Alexandre Baril (a feminist, gender and sexuality studies professor and fellow), defines transability as "the desire or the need for a person identified as able-bodied by other people to transform his or her body to obtain a physical impairment", according to NZHerald. Some experts believe that the problem is neurological while others think it is a mental health disorder.
Chloe is one of the most famous cases of the condition. She has chosen to be wheelchair-bound and has admitted that it is her fantasy to be in a horrific car crash where she loses her legs. She even looked for a doctor who would sever the specific nerves that connect her legs to the rest of her body. However, she couldn't go forward since it was too costly.
"The question I often ask is, is it better to have somebody pretending to use a wheelchair, or to commit suicide?" her psychiatrist Dr. Mark Malan told Daily Mail. The doctor also believes that to alleviate the condition of those suffering from BIID a "nerve blocker" could be developed "so that that limb could not actually be used for a period of time, to let the patient test the reality of being physically disabled temporarily. It would give BIID sufferers a chance to change their minds if they wanted to."