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We provide

scientific and educational information

on Body Integrity Identity Disorder


We are greatful to FIND A CURE. "Findacure is a UK charity that is building the rare disease community to drive research and develop treatments" (source: Find a Cure website). 


This website on BIID has been possibly only thanks to the FIND A CURE Mentoring programme. Have a look here for the next edition of the programme: https://www.findacure.org.uk/patient-group-mentoring/


Thanks to this mentoring programme, Anna and Cassie have worked with Ola in developing the website contents. Ola's experience with education on rare diseases has been invaluable in changing the contents and using the most effective language. We will always be indebted to Ola for her patience, suggestions and dedication!


 If you want to share YOUR STORY please click here 


The story of a person with BIID: have a look at this Documentary


Desiring to remove a limb 

I am Daniel, and I want to lose my legs, both of them, below my knees. I recall that it all started when I was young, a child, and I realized I did not wanted these legs, they did not belong there. I kept quiet about it and hoped it will go away until quite a bit later. But it not go away.  

I told my fiancé about this a year ago, and since then we have split up. She could not accept I want something like this. She told me I wanted a disability, while in the world there is plenty of people who become disabled after an accident and would kill to be like me. I understand her, I do, but what can I say? I have been like this since years and cannot really change only because I know it is not something to be desired. I tried to go to a psychologist, but he did not know about BIID, and he did not know how to help. I stopped going, and hence Jeanette left me. Since then I am alone.  

I have not told anyone else, and I am a bit scared someone at work finds out. I think I could lose my job.  

Sometimes I wonder if hypnotherapy would work. I have read that it can cause paralysis, for instance. So I wonder if it works the other round too. It would be nice if it would. I have not tried this yet though. Because of the money too. I do not have much savings to invest on this.  

I might at some point resort on “home” methods. I read online that some people use ice to damage their legs, and then go to the ER and they get an amputation. I might try this. Then I would be ok and not thinking of BIID all the time! 

Desiring to be blind 

My name is Francine and I have always been a bit different. Maybe more than a bit.  I’ve had BIID since about 7 years old. I always wanted to be visually impaired to the point of being legally blind. I should not be seeing. I know this sounds strange, but that’s it. I did not know it was BIID in the beginning: I discovered only recently it could be BIID, when I read the story of a woman form the US who had the same desire I do.  

Since then I started reading and found an online community of people with similar desires. What a relief to discover I am not the only one in the world. I can’t find any methods that wouldn’t be horribly painful to obtain what I want and I am too scared to try anything. I have heard of other people trying things, but I am not sure I have the guts to. Really looking for some support, but too afraid to tell my husband. So I am stuck with this desire (I am 36 years old now) and do not know what to do.  




If you suspect a patient you are seeing might be affected by BIID, please refer them to our Resources for Individuals.  

 SHARE YOUR STORY ON BIID with us:  click here 




  ICD-11 Definition 


“Body integrity dysphoria is characterised by an intense and persistent desire to become physically disabled in a significant way (e.g. major limb amputee, paraplegic, blind), with onset by early adolescence accompanied by persistent discomfort, or intense feelings of inappropriateness concerning current non-disabled body configuration. The desire to become physically disabled results in harmful consequences, as manifested by either the preoccupation with the desire (including time spent pretending to be disabled) significantly interfering with productivity, with leisure activities, or with social functioning (e.g. person is unwilling to have a close relationships because it would make it difficult to pretend) or by attempts to actually become disabled have resulted in the person putting his or her health or life in significant jeopardy. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental, behavioural or neurodevelopmental disorder, by a Disease of the Nervous System or by another medical condition, or by Malingering.”

 Characteristics of BIID 


  • Early-age Onset: BIID typically emerges at a very young age and is often repressed until adulthood at which point it can consume someone’s thoughts
  • Overwhelming Desire: BIID typically presents itself as an intense feeling that can take over a person’s life causing difficulties in socialising and functioning in everyday life
  • Dissociation of Limb or Sense: Rather than believing their extremity is ugly or deformed, people with BIID have reported that they instead believe it does not belong to their body (this also applies to senses) and can be described as feeling like ‘growing an extra limb’.
  • Non-delusional: There are no associations between delusions and BIID. Typically, a person with BIID has no false beliefs regarding their desire to be disabled coming from an external force. It is an internal belief that they would be complete after achieving their desired body.
  • Location of Desired Amputation Remains Consistent: In a case of BIID, a person can usually draw a line at the exact location of where their limb ends in their personal body map and this does not change. If this is not the case and the location changes, or a person doesn’t always want their extremity removed, there is a possibility for an alternative diagnosis such as schizophrenia.
  • Self-amputation Behaviours: Often, people with BIID will have thought about or attempted a self-amputation/mutilation of the unwanted limb/sense. It is not uncommon for a person with BIID to purposefully damage their limb beyond repair in hopes of receiving a surgical removal.
  • No Family History: There are no definite hereditary factors or increased likelihood if there is a family history of psychiatric disorders.

This list has been compiled using ‘Desire for amputation of a limb: paraphilia, psychosis, or a new type of identity disorder’ by (First MB, 2005), 'Apotemnophilia or Body Integrity Identity Disorder: A Case Report Review' (Bou Khalil R, Richa, S, 2012) & 'Body integrity identity disorder: the persistent desire to acquire a physical disability' (First MB, Fisher CE, 2012).



If you suspect a patient you are seeing might be affected by BIID, please refer them to our Resources for Individuals.  

 SHARE YOUR STORY ON BIID with us:  click here 


DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this website is not to be considered medical advice and is not to replace consultation with qualified professionals. Please do not use the information on this website to self-diagnose. 


 Media portrayals of BIID, such as tv shows, social media and sensational articles, can be inaccurate or insensitive.

As well as this, media portrayals of BIID can be exaggerated and dramatized

These are NOT necessarily an accurate representation of BIID.

 As well as this, people can make rude comments on the web regarding BIID


If you have been affected by something you have come across and want to speak please see our Resources for Individuals and feel free to contact us Click Here  


In order to deal with Media effects, there are a few steps you can take:


TIP 1 If possible, avoid spending too much time looking at these sourcesin order to stay away from inaccurate or harmful information, it is best to stick to reliable resources, such as your local GP and/or a counsellor/psychologist.


TIP 2 If you come across rude comments on social media – Try and not engage in a conversation with these people. We know this can be hard, but you will not be able to change this person’s mind and it will cause you stress.


 TIP 3 Report dangerous/offensive users if you come across an online user that is being rude or giving out information that could put others at risk it is important to report this to the website/platform in order to protect you and others.


 TIP 4 If you have come across something that has caused you emotional distress – please, speak to a loved one and/or see our Resources for Individuals and feel free to contact us Click Here  


 DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this website is not to be considered medical advice and is not to replace consultation with qualified professionals. Please do not use the information on this website to self-diagnose. 




BIID can be very harmful as people experiencing BIID can become preoccupied by these desires (sometimes spending time pretending to be disabled) and this can interfere with their daily lives. Often it can be a struggle for people with BIID to form close relationships as they may feel like they have to lie about their condition which can leave them feeling isolated. There have also been cases of people attempting to become disabled which has put their health and even their lives at great risk.   

Unfortunately, there is not a known cure for BIID. However, therapy can be offered to help patients with coping mechanisms to improve their daily lives. Another form of “therapy” is ‘pretending’ so that someone with BIID knows what it is really like to be disabled. To be able to find a more effective treatment, more research would need to be done. 

If you want to hear the story of a person with BIID, you can have a look at this Documentary





If you feel the need to contact us regarding any of this information please clickhere 

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this website is not to be considered medical advice and is not to replace consultation with qualified professionals. Please do not use the information on this website to self-diagnose.