Woman 'arranges for psychologist to pour drain cleaner in her eyes after fantasising about being blind'

Jewel Shuping reportedly has Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a psychological condition where healthy people believe they are meant to be disabled

Alexandra Sims
Friday 02 October 2015 13:22
Comments
Jewel Shuping from North Carolina is diagnosed Body Integrity Identity Disorder
Jewel Shuping from North Carolina is diagnosed Body Integrity Identity Disorder

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.

As a child Ms Shuping would spend hours staring at the sun after being told it could damage her eyes Barcroft Media/ YouTube

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.

Jewel Shuping became fluent in braille at 20 Barcroft Media/ YouTube

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in