I came across this site, transabled.org, while browsing the internet for a colleague who did a piece on BIID and Melody Gilbert's documentary Whole. I don't much feel like describing BIID, so I'm copying from the transabled.org website:
Body Identity Integrity Disorder, or BIID, is a condition where people who have a "normal" able body need to have a physical impairment. BIID is most often expressed by a need to have an amputation, to be paraplegic, to be deaf, or to be blind. It can be a highly disabling condition where individuals are thrown in deep depression because of the anguish caused by the dichotomy between their psyche and their body.
Perhaps the strongest analogy we can use to explain this need is to compare BIID to Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Someone who has BIID is very much like transsexuals who are in the wrong body and need to "change" sex. The causes are obviously different, but GID is perhaps the best known condition that most resembles BIID.
There is very little research that has been done on BIID at this point. You may find most of what is available on http://biid-info.org. As such, it is not sure if this is a psychological condition or a neurological condition. There is evidence from neurologists in San Diego that there is a neurological aspect to BIID. While many people feel this is a psychological condition, it has not been classified as such in any of the major manual of psychological conditions.
There are no psychotherapies nor pharmacotherapies that have been proven to provide any relief, much less cure, for BIID.
The only thing that seems to provide relief is to acquire the impairment needed.
In any case, I ended up reading about this gal Chloe on the site who has chronic pain. She wraps her legs in bandages and such. I haven't really done a good job reading around yet, as I just came across the site yesterday, but I was just really fascinated by the possibilities for persons with chronic pain. In any case, I wrote a letter to the site owner, though their "contact us" form appears not to be working, so this is probably the only place it exists. Please, no judgments. Just let the idea sit with you for a bit because if you don't know about BIID the learning can take longer than you think. Much love to all.
Before reading the stories on this site, I was already a strong supporter of persons with BIID, but I didn't realize how many parallels existed between the person with disability and person needing disability. I'm sure that most people with disabilities are, like myself, initially put off on learning that anyone would want our dismal plights, but the reality of need versus want set in quite quickly for me. Reading through this site, however, I realized the degree of transabled-ness in myself, particularly through understanding Chloe's feelings as a person with chronic pain like myself.
The frustrations of having an invisible disability are ever present and irritating, to say the least. The being looked at like you are "faking" it, the being questioned about why the hell you'd need a companion animal, and the guffaws that accompany requests for accommodations. I used to wear my neck brace after I needed it because I just wanted people to see that the pain persisted and would always persist. Then I got a TENS device and began wearing it incessantly, though people seemed to dismiss this as a true sign of pain as well. There came this desire to have something to show my pain, bandages or a wheelchair or just blood. Reading through Chloe's story, it finally occurred to me that these so-called desires that plagued my psyche were actually a NEED to some extent. If I truly explore my thoughts and constant depression at being seen as "able-bodied" I may realize that I too am transabled.
I am so proud of the people on this site for taking control of their bodies, and I hope that I can learn from these writers and see role models manifested in their stories. Thank you so much for putting together this beautiful resource. I wish you all the best.