This story is a bit stomach turning and offensive when you think about it, but it is what it is. Jewel Shuping, a 30 year old woman from North Carolina, says she suffers Body Integrity Identity Disorder. In a nutshell, those who suffer from this disorder feel that, though there is nothing wrong with them, something should be wrong with them. They actually want to be disabled and feel they are supposed to be. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it basically is.
Shuping spent her whole life wishing she was blind. She would wear dark glasses and walk with a cane, she even learned to read braille in her teens. Why? Again, this disorder is the root of it but much like drunks have to take responsibility for driving over a person when they’re wasted behind the wheel, so too does any person still capable of otherwise rational thought have to take responsibility for their actions. So when Shuping found a psychologist willing to help her, both of them became complicit in what is arguably one of the most disgusting things you’ll ever hear about. Shuping claims the psychologist gave her numbing eye drops and then helped her put drain cleaner in her eyes.
The result of her drain cleaner treatments is that she lost one eye completely and the other has glaucoma and cataracts. So she got her wish, she’s blind. Imagine every blind person in the world and how they would feel hearing about this. Blindness is a disability whether anyone likes it or not. Because a sense which you are supposed to have is no longer functioning, it has been disabled. It makes things harder. Not impossible, of course, and no doubt many blind people live rich and full lives, but how many would have ever chosen it from the get go? How many would have burnt their own perfectly good eyes right out of their head?
When you think of all the people blinded in accidents or as a result of genetic conditions, how many people wish they could see the faces of those they care about, or something as simple as a sunrise, that someone would do this to themselves, and that a doctor would help them, is pretty ridiculous. Is it her choice? Of course, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But it’s still pretty awful and, excuse the pun, short sighted.