A variety of mental issues exist, and some of them are easily recognizable; however, in other cases, a person has no way of realizing he or she has some kind of illness.
That said, there are rare conditions that really seem too ridiculous to be true. Nonetheless, people still suffer from them.
A Salt Lake City research scientist has one of these rare mental disorders—the condition forces her to feel as if she desperately wants to be disabled, or at least to live her everyday life as a disabled person. She is perfectly able to walk, and she could even go skiing.
58-year-old Utah resident Chloe Jennings-White felt that she was different when she was still young, and she is currently considering paying a surgeon who would agree to help her somehow disable herself from the waist down.
Chloe currently spends most of her days in a wheelchair, but she actually does not need one. She wants it that way because of the very rare condition she suffers from—it is called BIID, which stands for Body Integrity Identity Disorder.
People who have been diagnosed with this illness find it hard or impossible to accept some of their body parts; in most cases, they want them amputated.
Chloe managed to find a medic who is willing to respond to her request and disable her from the waist down, but since he’s overseas, the entire cost would be about £16,000—an amount she simply can’t afford.
The woman said that she probably will never be able to afford the trip and the operation, but deep inside she knows that if she could, she would not regret it—not even for one second.
Chloe added that something inside her brain tells her that her legs should not be working at all, and the fact that she can actually use them feels like something is wrong.
Her condition unfortunately puts her in a position where she is constantly mocked, insulted, and even threatened by those who simply can’t understand her condition.
She added that sometimes she gets very desperate and tries to intentionally damage her legs so they won’t be usable.
She recalls that when she was only nine years old, she purposely fell off a four-foot high stage platform with her bicycle in north London’s Hampstead Heath and landed straight on her neck.
Later, she realized that this could have resulted in her neck breaking—or even dying.
The woman even admits that the only reason she finds skiing to be a thrilling experience is the fact that there is a chance for her to be involved in an accident and left paralyzed.
Chloe admitted that she is an extremely fast skier and she always chooses the most dangerous routes on any track.
She said that BIID anxiety feels relieved in a weird way every time she does something that is potentially dangerous and could lead to an accident.
All of her relatives and friends are worried about her extreme manner of skiing because they also know that she secretly hopes to injure herself and end up a paraplegic.
Being a daredevil, she eventually did have a ski accident, and while she searched to find leg braces, she stumbled on information about other people like her. They had even formed a community.
When she discovered this society, she felt very relieved that she was not some kind of a freak and that hundreds of other people suffered from the same thing.
Chloe’s psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Malan, said that he always asks one question—is it better when somebody pretends to use a wheelchair or when he or she takes his/her own life?
He thinks that it might be possible for the nerves of a limb to be blocked for a short period of time in order for a BIID patient to experience what it’s really like losing the control over that limb.
Dr. Malan believes that if patients are given this opportunity, it would be a chance to compare and then change their mind if they feel like it.