An Unsettling Trend of Self-Mutilation


Men and women who feel they were given the wrong body and that it was an error to have been born healthy are part of the multiplying group known as the transabled. The transabled have resorted to physically disabling themselves by way of slicing off limbs or acquiring braces they don’t need to satisfy their urge to be disfigured. This is known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a mental diagnosis which causes people to feel like strangers in their own full functioning bodies and have a desire to modify them by removing limbs and injuring themselves etc. to achieve the body they believe they should have.
A man in Ottawa, Canada who is a noted sufferer from Body Integrity Identity Disorder, sawed off his right arm and let everyone think it was an accident. He explained that he got rid of his limb with a “very sharp power tool” and that he wanted to detach his arm in such a way that it would never be able to be re-attached. He currently operates under the alias “One Hand Jason.”
Canadian Researchers are still attempting to figure out how the transabled think. Clive Baldwin, a Canadian Research Chair in Narrative Studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton N.B., has questioned over 35 transabled persons. Most of them are male and located in Germany and Switzerland. Baldwin has knowledge of few living in Canada.
Transabled people keep their desires of removing their own limbs hidden. Baldwin was once informed by a man in his 70s who stated he had kept his intentions about maiming himself away from his wife for years.
Like the disabled community and trans gender activists, they too want to be acknowledged as a movement all their own. The transabled have had struggles with this as they have been rejected by both groups for being “dishonest” says Baril, a gender specialist at the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
“Transability,” or Body Integrity Identity Disorder is a new edition in the “emerging models and measures” appendix of DSM, a global science company which focuses on health and nutrition as of 2013. Many who are transabled want this to be part of the psychiatric bible as they feel it would validate their experience in the realm of medicine.

photo credit: <a href=”″>Michelin Man</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

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