Body Integrity Identity Disorder, according to BIID.org, is: “when a person’s idea of how they should look does not match their physical form.” North Carolina’s Jewel Shuping, 30, grew up with BIID, and had wanted to be blind ever since she was a little girl. In 2006 her dream came true.
Shuping knew she had to be blind when she was six years old. She recalls her mother telling her staring at the sun would damage her eyes and so she stared at the sun for hours on end. As she got into her teen years she began to simulate what life would be like blind, wearing thick black sunglasses and getting a cane at age 18. She was fluent in braille by age 20. But by age 21 “blind simming” wasn’t enough for Shuping and she kept thinking about becoming blind.
And so she found a psychologist willing to help her. The process began by Shuping getting numbing eyedrops put in, eyedrops she purchased on a trip to Canada. Then the psychologist put drops of the drain cleaner in each eye.
“My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,” Shuping recalls. “But all I could think was 'I am going blind, it is going to be okay.’”
The effects—a “corneal meltdown” which required one eye to be removed and glaucoma and cataracts in her right eye—led to her loss of vision over the course of six months. There is no information on whether or not the psychologist who assisted Shuping is being charged.
Shuping, who couldn’t be happier now: 'I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born, that I should have been blind from birth,” spoke about BIID and advised others not to go to extreme lengths like she did.
'People with BIID get trains to run over their legs, freeze dry their legs, or fall off cliffs to try to paralyse themselves,” Shuping said. 'It's very very dangerous. And they need professional help.’
A professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, Dr Michael First, said cures for BIID were rare.
[via Daily Mail]
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