A woman who fantasised about being blind claims to have arranged to have drain cleaner poured in her eyes to live the way she was “supposed to be born”, it has been reported.
Jewel Shuping, from North Carolina, said she was diagnosed with Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a psychological condition where healthy people believe they are meant to be disabled.
The 30-year-old’s desire to be blind reportedly began in early childhood. At the age of six she would spend hours staring at the sun after being told it could damage her eyes, she told Barcroft Media.
The agency reported that by the time she was a teenager, Ms Shuping started to wear thick, black sunglasses, getting her first white cane at 18, and was fully fluent in braille by 20.
Ms Shuping said she was “blind-swimming” or pretending to be blind. “The idea kept coming up in my head and by the time I was 21 it was a non-stop alarm that was going off,” she told Barcroft.
In 2006, Ms Shuping said she found a psychologist willing to pour drain cleaner in her eyes to help her fulfill her wish to become blind.
The psychologist reportedly first poured numbing eye drops into each of Ms Shuping’s eyes, followed by two drops of drain cleaner.
Ms Shuping told the agency the process was extremely painful and that took around six months for the damage to fully take effect.
The psychologist was not named and it is not known if they are facing prosecution.
BIID, a disorder coined by Dr Michael First, affects a small percentage of the population and is typically associated with the desire to have a specific body part amputated. Suffers often become envious of people who have the disability they crave.
A theory as to the disorder’s cause is that “the brain is not able to provide an accurate plan of the body” causing it to see the offending body part as “foreign and not actually part of the person, thus the desire to have it removed,” according to Biid.org.
Ms Shuping said she was sharing her story to raise public awareness of BIID and encourage people with the condition to seek medical help.Reuse content