Daily Archives: July 13, 2014

Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID)

If you were a surgeon and someone came to you asking you to amputate his leg, for how much he is suffering deeply due to this leg and for no physical health reason, what would you do?

The thing is if you don’t do it, they may DIY. One practiced first, he got rid of part of his finger as a prelude to amputating his leg. Another one laid on the train track and let the train run over his limbs. One more shot his legs off with a gun, etc.

Just like Gender Identity Disorder (GID), “body integrity identity disorder hypothesises that a normal function, which is your comfort in how your body fits together, has gone wrong.” When they envision themselves, the image is without the limb, the limb makes them feel “incomplete”.

Do they all desire an amputation due to BIID or a sexual fetish? An obsession with amputees and amputations?

Here was a perfectly healthy man with a perfectly healthy leg. Yet he went under the knife voluntarily, in a foreign country. He trusted a surgical team that worked under a cloak of deception. How much must a man suffer to come to this: lying by himself on an operating table, attended only by strangers, in a small, obscure hospital thousands of miles from his home in America?

Is amputation the only way out? Is it ethical?

Look at some case studies and the history of BIID here (a long read): This is what it is like to be at war with your body – the compulsion to be free of a limb is no imagery illness

Related study: Modular cognitive-behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder: A randomized controlled trial