Body integrity identity disorder.
Body integrity identity Disorder (BIID) is a rare condition whereby suffers have an intense desire to either be paralysed or to have a healthy limb amputated, often able to define exactly the length of stump desired.
54 self recognised BIID suffers were interviewed, reporting this desire was driven by a need 'to feel complete or to feel satisfied.' Just over half the participants voiced a desire to be amputated, the majority choosing for the non dominant side. No psychological comorbidity is found to exist . Rates of depression and anxiety are slightly higher than in the general population, however this is likely connected to the huge social impact of BIID. Although psychotherapy gives some support BIID remains. Anti-depression medication relieves only the depression and anti-psychotics have no impact.
7 of the 54 have undergone voluntary amputation and scored significantly lower on the Sheehan Disability Scale compared to the rest, i.e. their level of disability has decreased since receiving the amputation. Physical comorbidity is also infrequent and often attributed to manifest avoidance of the relevant limb. Due to the rarity of the disorder, the associated secrecy and the distribution of suffers it can be difficult to statically qualify outcomes. > From: Blom et al., PLoS one 7 (2012). All rights reserved to the Authors.
The free full text article can be read here.
See the personal story of a BIID suffer, and the informative discussion during a boring meeting, in the YouTube clips below.