Karl (louderback) wrote,

BIID: Body Identiy Integrity Disorder

BIID or Body Identity Integrity Disorder

         This may be a long entry, I think. It is something that I must take care in discussing as it involves something told me in confidence. I feel compelled, however, to talk about it. If for no other reason, I must write about it to make clear to myself my own feelings.

         BIID is a disorder that I can most clearly describe by making an analogy to those who are or who have a desire to be transgendered, to have their physical sexual identity reassigned through surgery. With BIID, one feels that some part of their body is "wrong" or "does not belong to them" and usually desire strongly — to the point of demanding amputation — to have the situation remedied.

         A less common manifestation of this problem is when someone desires to possess a particular disability. To this end they will attempt medical (or less formal) alterations to make themselves paralyzed, blind, deaf, or to give themselves any number of other disabilities. According to my reading on the web, this manifestation of BIID is much less common than the desire for an amputation, but is in most ways just as serious. Also according to my reading many such sufferers show their "disability" in public but don't do so at home or in private (sometimes the reverse is true). This is part and parcel with a strong desire to belong to a particular disabled group.

         This would just be a passing oddity to me save that someone I know has recently confessed to me that he suffers from this diagnosis. He is going to tell his therapist for the first time this week. He has been disabled all his life (since pre-teen years) and has maintained what I guess I'll call a pretense into his 40's.

         Is this just a ploy for sympathy for all these years? After all these years is "just" a valid characterization? Isn't a pathology that long-term a valid sickness? I guess I am asking myself if the diagnosis of BIID is a legitimate one. I have been unable to find BIID in DSM-V but I also have had little luck finding anything there.

         My image of my friend has suddenly changed very dramatically. While I have no less respect for his intellect and for the compassion and good sense I have seen him demonstrate toward others, I find that my empathy/sympathy has flown out the window to the point where I am feeling almost hostile.

         This is unlike me. I don't typically don't do sharp turnarounds where people are concerned. I tend to give people so many "chances" that when I finally have been deceived/betrayed by them "enough" times (far beyond the point where most would), I simply drop them with no further contact.

         Am I headed that way with this friend? This sort of Mental Illness has (I presume) as a part of its pathology the deceit of concealing your true condition. I can't, therefore, really regard the confession of having BIID as any sort of betrayal, but rather an immense expression of trust in my compassion. And I do feel compassion for him. I am just not sure what and how else I feel.

         Whatcha gonna do?


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