Living With BIID: I Want To Cut Off My Leg

February 17, 2020 0 By Jose Scott


NICK O’HALLORAN: Leg – I’d like it to be amputated, that’s what I perceive to be my end goal. NICK O’HALLORAN: BIID is shortened for Body Integrity Identity Disorder and which is a
condition where the brain doesn’t recognise an aspect of the body. For me, the map stops
on the right leg, three inches from the hip. It manifests in an inch. It’ll be equivalent
of someone who is growing an extra limb. It does not belong there. DANIEL: Before he came out to me with it, I didn’t even know about BIID. It felt like
someone was coming out to me has gay or trans. You know, I could see how important it was
for him and how nervous he was. My first thoughts were, that’s unbelievable that my friend
is having to go through this. NICK O’HALLORAN: I’ve tried myself a few times by injecting medical grade alcohol into
the limb. But there was intense pain, more pain than I anticipated because you could
actually feel the alcohol drying up the muscles. There was a sense of feeling of success. You
couldn’t move it, but after eight hours, it was fine. I got put in contact with a
man who was regarded as what’s called a ‘gatekeeper’ and he knows names of surgeons
who are willing to do an amputation for a set fee and what they would do then is they
would give you documentation to say it was an accident. I paid this man in total just
shy of 20 grand. Turned out to be a massive scam. Last year I was in a very dark place
and it culminated with me trying to jump in front of a train. I think what led me to feel
was the sense of isolation and alienation. Not being able to talk to anyone, constantly
having to put on a mask. NICK O’HALLORAN: In terms of pretending, I try to do it at least once a day, if not longer. NICK O’HALLORAN: I feel a lot better and I get to see myself as I would be or should
be rather than as I am. DR ANNA SEDDA: It’s a peculiar condition known since around 1970 in which a perfectly
healthy individual with no physical damage, no psychiatric problem, quite early in childhood
starts to desire a different body. DR ANNA SEDDA: Okay, so when you’re ready,
you can start. DR ANNA SEDDA: With Nick we did some experiments on emotional processing with results what
we see is exactly a pattern and it shows that there is a different emotional processing
in relation to the representation of the body. The life risk which is associated with BIID
is really extreme and we should try to understand what can we do for these individuals. It’s
not fair to be suffering like this and to put your life at risk. NICK O’HALLORAN: Meeting Anna today was really good. She was able to re-confirm things
for me and put a name to a lot of things as well and I look forward to speaking with her
again and seeing what she comes out with in terms of treatment. If a choice came for an
amputation, I would jump at the opportunity. It’s the only way I can see the itch would stop. DANIEL: If Nick would have his leg removed by a surgeon safely, by a qualified surgeon,
I would be behind him 110%. I hope Nick’s future will be, will be where he can just
be himself. NICK O’HALLORAN: I would like to start living again, but I’d also like to work with people
with BIID and help them either cope with it or get the help it needs. And you’ve got the
people who do have it and a sense of they are not alone.