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Body Integrity Identity Disorder – a Systematic Record of the Strategies to Reduce the Strain
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 4, Issue 4, August 2015, Pages: 139-146
Received: May 12, 2015; Accepted: May 26, 2015; Published: Jun. 13, 2015
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Authors
Jelena Helmer, Medical School Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany
Erich Kasten, Dept. of Neuropsychology, Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
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Abstract
People with Body Integrity Identity Disorder feel a discrepancy between their outward appearance and their sensed inner body image. To help these persons it is of major importance to find out how they deal with their disease in every day’s life. What leads to a reduction of the wish for an amputation, paralysis or any other kind of disability? What strengthens the desire? Therefore this study deals with a systematic record of strategies and methods used by BIID affected persons for handling with their disease. Method: Hypotheses were formulated which concern the experience of different strategies, activities or situations with regard to the individual wish manifestation. For the investigation of the hypotheses as well as the record of the socio-demographic data a questionnaire with 42 items was created at an online platform specifically designed for scientific studies. Sample: 34 evaluable data sets could be collected. 24 persons (70.6 %) were male and 10 persons (29.4%) were female. The average age amounted 40.26 years. 15 participants indicated to wish an amputation, eleven persons yearned for paraplegia, two concerned people indicated the wish to be bladder incontinent, one person yearned for blindness and one more indicated just the wish to sit in a wheelchair. Four participants did not make a statement to their individual wish manifestation. Results: Except the pretending-behavior, which is used by 47.1% of the participants to handle with the disease, could not be found a strategy, activity or situation which is sensed as wish reducing without exception by all participants. Summing up the collected results, they show a high individuality regarding the experience of wish reducing and wish increasing factors. On the other hand the results show that the perception of disabled people and any activity with BIID leads to a strengthening of the desire. Conclusion: Almost half of the participants are using the pretending-behavior by handling BIID. Pretending leads to a short-term reduction of the wish for amputation reasoned by appeared positive emotions. Long-termly this behavior though seems as an intensifier and holds up the disease and therefore the desire for amputation. Persons affected by BIID should try to extinguish personally experienced wish-increasing factors as well as to integrate wish-reducing strategies in many areas of their life as possible. Disease providing methods need to be identified and substituted with other techniques.
Keywords
Body Integrity Identity Disorder, BIID, Apotemnophilia, Amputee Identity Disorder, Xenomelia
To cite this article
Jelena Helmer, Erich Kasten, Body Integrity Identity Disorder – a Systematic Record of the Strategies to Reduce the Strain, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 4, No. 4, 2015, pp. 139-146. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20150404.11
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