Believe it...Or Not...

@paula27661 (15898)
Australia
May 24, 2009 12:55am CST
I watched a current affairs program not too long ago and on it was a man who had a condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID. People who have BIID are usually very frustrated with a certain part of their body usually a limb. The problem can be of such an extent that the afflicted person will spend their days wishing for nothing more than to eliminate the particular body part and some have resorted to desperate measures in order to dispose of said limb as the gentleman on the news story did. After approaching several doctors over the years requesting for his right leg to be amputated and getting refused of course because no medico would perform such an operation on a perfectly healthy limb, he decided to take action himself. He waited until his wife and kids were out of the house, he obtained some dry ice, submerged his leg in it for six hours until it was practically dead which is the result discovered by his wife upon her return home. He was rushed to hospital and although he begged the doctors to amputate, they of course did all they could to save his limb but in the end the man got his wishes and lost the bottom half of his right leg. The man in question claims that the day of the amputation was the best day of his life despite all the pain he put himself through because now he was finally rid of the offending limb and along with this he had eliminated a great deal of anxiety; he claimed that he did not feel ‘complete’ until the leg was gone! Go figure! It is ever so hard to wrap my mind around someone feeling this way but according to medical authorities this disorder is a proven condition and the people who have it experience feelings which are very real. There have been many stories of people with this condition who have somehow cut a healthy limb to relieve their disturbance. I had not heard of anything like this before and I was amazed as I listened to the man describe his sentiments. It would have to be the weirdest thing I have seen on television in a long time. Have you ever heard of this disorder? What is the weirdest or most interesting thing you have seen on television?
6 people like this
10 responses
@leeloo (1492)
• Portugal
25 May 09
Most of these extreme medical conditions are terrible not only for the people that suffer the illness but also their families, can you imagine the anxiety and shock his wife went through. This illness and others like it are often used in medical drama shows, the above condition was shown in an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but I had seen it several years ago on a show, I thought it was fake until I did a little research and found out it actually a known condition. Similar is the Alien Hand Syndrome, which is an illness in which the one hand is felt to be autonomous in motion, though the hand is part of them it seems to have a mind all it's own, this is a neurological disorder, the most common examples shown in articles is that for instance if the person wants to button a shirt, the hand will unbutton it, it will also slap, pinch, punch the person often they will sit on the offending hand to prevent it misbehaving. Television dramas like ER, Grey's Anatomy and in particular House M.D.(just because the show deals predominantly with extreme illnesses in general) are a great source of ideas of how many truly terrible and devastating illness there are in the world, not only how it affects them but how it affects their families as well.
2 people like this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
Thank you so much leeloo for such an interesting response. I had never heard of BIID before and I was amazed. They interviewed the wife and although she was aware of how he felt about his leg she did not imagine that he would ever attempt to get rid of it; she said that when she returned home and learned what he did all she could think to do was slap him! Can't say I blame her, she was in shock, and it is a very difficult situation to comprehend. Her poor husband feels so much better now and claims he has no desire to harm any other part of his body. Alien Hand Syndrome is another disorder I have never heard of either, it is truly incredible what some poor souls have to endure. Thanks again for responding, very interesting.
@psyche49f (2511)
• Philippines
24 May 09
The disorder is indeed very rare, and is basically psychological in nature, just like anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The best management of course is for the person to subject himself to psychotherapy so that he will return back to an adequate perception of reality. These are somatoforms body disorders, where usually people have morbid hatred and anxieity of a part of their body and some of them may resort to unnecessary cosmetics surgery .
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
I've heard of anorexia and bulimia of course but I was not aware of BIID until I saw this story, it is very sad; it must be a horrible way to live...Thanks for the information psyche, interesting stuff...
@savypat (20245)
• United States
24 May 09
I think I have heard of this before but i don't think it was designated as a particular condition. I wonder if they have been able to link this to a certain brain disorder?
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
Apparently it is a brain disorder. On the show they had a picture of the man's brain scan and a doctor pointed out the differences in the patient's brain compared to an average one that is how they know that it is a genuine, although bizarre disorder. How about that ah?? Sad and weird...
1 person likes this
@ronnyb (6117)
• Jamaica
3 Jan 10
Wow this gives no meaning to what is in the bible that if a limb offends you cut it off.This is really the first that I am hearing that and I dont know what I would do if I had it .The mere fact that someone can feel that way about their own body is phenomenal but I guess cutting it off may be the only way to go after all
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
4 Jan 10
It is a real disorder and although I had read about it before I have never seen anyone who has actually done it. The remarkable thing is that this man is now really happy with his life and says he has no problem with any other part of his body, now that the offending leg is gone all is well in his world, incredible isn't it? Thanks for stopping by ronnyb!
• United States
3 Jan 10
I have never heard of that disorder. It reminds me of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, but to a VERY extreme extent!! I feel very sad for them =( Even if they don't want you to. But, hey, as traumatizing as his story may be to others - it raised awareness to a few who were watching the news that day to a very serious, very real mental disorder.
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
3 Jan 10
Isn't it unbelievable? It is a very real disorder; I've read about this somewhere else as well, it is very sad for the people who have this, to think this man is happy minus one leg! One of the doctors interviewed on the program said that some medicos were considering granting the wishes of the people afflicted so they can get on with their lives, but it becomes a question of ethics...Very sad indeed... Thanks for responding jahernandezrivas!
• United States
25 May 09
Paula- I've heard about this through discovery health, and it's just well heart breaking. I also find a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I can't imagine wanting to loose a part of my body to get rid of pain, etc. I don't know all of the aspects of this disease, but I have to wonder if there isn't something to the neurology of it that perhaps cnnected to the brain makes the brain balance out chemically speaking when the limb is removed? Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
26 May 09
They showed this man's brain scan on the programme and a the doctor pointed out the differences in the patient's brain compared to someone who doesn't have the disorder and they were notable; they didn't mention what happened to the brain after the leg was removed and the man was at peace, it would be interesting to know. The man in question said that he was now fine and had no desire whatsoever to remove any other body part, it was that one leg that was causing him distress, he just didn't want it there and that now that he is an amputee he can function normally, incredible isn't it?
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
25 May 09
Interestingly enough I remember reading about a case of BIID a while back! The case revolved around a man that walked into a hospital repeatedly over a period of time, requesting that a surgeon be made available to remove his arm. He was of course turned away over and over again. (Why no one at least had a Pysch look at him is beyond me!) Apparently, the last visit he had at the hospital where they turned him away again, made him go to the nearby railway tracks, lay down with his arm on the track and a passing train severed his arm clean off just below the shoulder! He then calmly wrapped his shirt around the remaining stump and walked on back to the hospital for treatment. He was recorded as saying that he felt great relief at the arm being gone because he just didn't want it anymore. It's beyond comprehension to think that people have feelings like these???
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
Wow, how extraordinary! It is a pretty courageous thing to do just to obtain peace of mind, how sad! Apparently people with BIID are not at peace until the body part is gone. It is a shame the man you mention didn't get a psych consult straight away. Thanks James, fascinating...
1 person likes this
@clorissa123 (4930)
• United States
25 May 09
Wow, that is scarest thing I ever read online so far. I can't believe there is a such sickness exist in our world. Well, weirdest thing always happen around us, and we can't even explain it. But this kind of sickness just disturb me a little. Perfectly unhealthy. That is psychological illusion I guess for people who dissatisfied with his own limb like that. Hopefully, some medical development might help with it.
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
It is very scary stuff. I was relieved to read psyche's response and learn that there may be a way for some of the people with this disorder to get help with this through psychotherapy. Thanks clorissa!
@sulynsi (2834)
• Canada
24 May 09
That is horrible. I wonder if it is related to the condition called Baron Muenschausen's syndrome, or its terrible cousin, Muenschausen by proxy? The sufferer mutilates himself or makes himself sick in order to get attention. In the case of the proxy condition, they do it to a close relative, like a child and lap up the resulting attention.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
I've heard of people with Muenschausen by proxy hurting their children, it is sickening, it really is, it also very sad because these poor souls can't help the disorder unless they receive help. Thanks sulynsi.
@kalav56 (11497)
• India
24 May 09
Oh Paula1 What a horrifying experience and what a terrible disorder. Normally, if there is some telecast about such things I won't watch it.I find it very difficult to see it.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
25 May 09
I avoid that kind of thing too usually but it came on amongst other news stories and I was blown away by the fact that someone actually did this to himself and it was because of an actual brain disorder and there are others with this condition. Strange isn't it? Thanks for responding kalav!
1 person likes this