For people who suffer with physical disabilities, wishing to be able-bodied is often a huge desire. However, there is a rare and controversial mental disorder called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) where the sufferer strongly desires to become disabled, in one way or another. One such case involves a woman called Jewel Schuping, who claims she had a lifelong dream of becoming blind.
“When I was five my mom would find me walking around the halls with my eyes closed. I have just always felt comfortable without any real vision”. It didn’t stop there: When her mother gave her the usual warning that staring at the sun would make her go blind, Jewel said she would spend hours doing so. As a teenager, Jewel would walk around with blacked out sunglasses and a white cane in order to fully immerse herself into her bizarre fantasy. By the age of 20, she had become fluent in braille after studying it for 2 years.
In 2006, she met with a psychologist who agreed to help her fulfil her lifelong dream. Over the course of six months, he began inserting eyedrops laced with drain-cleaner into his patients’ eyes. Eventually, her eyesight diminished to nothing, with her left eye suffering a “corneal meltdown” by collapsing on itself and having to be removed - while her right eye developed glaucoma and cataracts, and a webbing of scars.Her furious family have disowned her after she initially told them it was an accident - but she insists she has no regrets.