By Susannah Cahalan. It had plagued him for years. He locked his bedroom door, fashioned a tourniquet out of baling twine and an old sock and propped his leg up against a wall to stem blood flow. Two hours later, the pain too intense to continue, he released the binding. His leg would live another day — but not, he hoped, for much longer. David and others like him suffer from a rare psychological condition called body integrity identity disorder, where they sufferer desires to amputate a healthy limb. The majority of BIID sufferers are middle-aged white men and the most commonly requested amputation is of the left leg.
Acrotomophilia - Wikipedia
Body integrity dysphoria BID , also referred to as body integrity identity disorder , amputee identity disorder and xenomelia , formerly called apotemnophilia is a disorder characterized by a desire to be disabled or discomfort with being able-bodied beginning in early adolescence and resulting in harmful consequences. BID is a rare, infrequently studied condition in which there is a mismatch between the mental body image and the physical body, characterized by an intense desire for amputation of a limb, usually a leg, or to become blind or deaf. Some act out their desires, pretending they are amputees using prostheses and other tools to ease their desire to be one. Some people with BID have reported to the media or by interview over the telephone with researchers that they have resorted to self-amputation of a "superfluous" limb; for example, by allowing a train to run over it, or by damaging the limb so badly that surgeons will have to amputate it. However, the medical literature records few, if any, cases of actual self amputation. To the extent that generalizations can be made, people with BID appear to start to wish for amputation when they are young, between 8 and 12 years old, and often knew a person with an amputated limb when they were children; however, people with BIID tend to seek treatment only when they are much older. As of the cause was not clear and was a subject of ongoing research.
Inside the world of techno-fetishism where people suffer 'prosthetic envy'
I lost my leg in the summer of , while driving a blue Honda Nighthawk motorcycle. A woman with the windows rolled up later told police "it was dusk and hard to see," after making an illegal left turn into my leg. When an ambulance arrived on the scene, my leather jacket was soaked in fresh blood and the skin from my ankle to my knee had been peeled clean; my tibia and fibula had splintered through my shin. The impact was so forceful that my shoes flew off, my glasses shattered, my hip and left thumb snapped, my helmet cracked. When the paramedic cut off my jeans, I remembered I hadn't worn underwear that day, and so I lay on the stretcher fully exposed to four EMTs, two gas station attendants from the nearby Chevron, a dozen passersby, and the woman who'd have to live with the fact that she'd caused this macabre vignette.
In the early 20th century, there was a sharp increase in the number of people openly seeking to have one or more of their healthy limbs surgically removed from their bodies. It is known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder BIID or Amputee Identity Disorder, and it involves an urge so powerful that it leads many sufferers to damage the offending limbs beyond repair in order to bring about amputation. The most commonly expressed desire is to have a leg removed above the knee, but sometimes the person is looking to rid themselves of an arm, a leg below the knee, or sometimes multiple limbs. The disorder usually includes feelings of intense jealousy at the sight of an amputee. Some even design and fabricate prostheses to allow themselves to appear to have the amputation they desire.