Body Integrity Identity Disorder

1041 Words Feb 1st, 2018 4 Pages

Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID, also known as apotemnophilia and xenomelia) is a rare condition in which the person experiences a strong feeling of ‘overcompleteness’ with four limbs, causing an intense desire for amputation (1,2). Instead of a wish for amputation there may also be a desire to paralysis (3). These individuals do not suffer from delusions or psychosis, and fully understand the bizarre nature of their desire (2,4). At this time BIID is not included in the ICD-11 or DSM-5, causing this condition to be unknown by psychiatrists, neurologist and surgeons. Therefore there is no effective pharmacological or psychotherapeutic treatment option available (2). Only the requested amputation itself seems effective, but for ethical reasons those amputations are not preformed in regular healthcare (3). As a result BIID individuals often avoid healthcare and express their desire by pretending to be disabled or, in extreme cases, by eventually performing self-amputation (4–7). The lifelong desire of an individual to be physically disabled may be considered incomprehensible by many. However, for BIID individuals the strong sense that their anatomical self as an able-bodied person is inappropriate and that they were meant to go through life as a disabled person is constantly present and cannot be suppressed (3). This feeling becomes manifest in early childhood and remains throughout life (5). Although this phenomenon is very rare and prevalence rates…