What if a friend told you that they passionately felt as if they needed to cut off their own limbs?
That’s what body integrity identity disorder is. It’s people who feel a need to cut off their own limbs. The limb doesn’t hurt but for some reason they have a strong urge to remove it so they can feel “whole” again.
This obsession usually starts in early childhood (often after one sees an amputee) and lasts for a lifetime. It’s also extremely specific. If someone with this disorder found a surgeon to cut off their legs, they will not be satisfied if it’s 3 inches from the knee as opposed to 4 inches like they wanted. If the cut is too low, they will be aware and uncomfortable about the small amount of “not-me” they still have attached to them.
Some go to great lengths to get rid of their limbs. One person froze in leg dry ice until it was irreversibly damaged and a surgeon had to cut it off. Another shot his own leg, and others used chainsaws or homemade guillotines.
Those who are successful are not disappointed, in fact they say that they are “whole” again and that are quite relived. It’s like silencing an annoying noise.
This disorder does not respond to any drug intervention or psychiatric treatment. There hasn’t been much research done on it.
SOURCE: This great book I’m reading called The Body Has A Mind Of Its Own by Sandra & Matthew Blakeslee