What may surprise many people is that Sheping found a psychologist to help her go blind. After two weeks of intense therapy to make sure she was sure of her decision, Shuping and her psychologist put drops of drain cleaner directly onto her eyes and essentially burned away her vision.
“I went blind on purpose, but I don’t think it was a choice,” she says in her video interview (below).
In most cases, those with BIID feel afflicted with an intense desire to become disabled in some way and may take drastic measures to achieve this “dream,” even when the body part in question is perfectly healthy and functional.
Dr. Michael First, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, who coined the term BIID, said in a Mirror article: “Any major disability can be a focus of BIID, from amputation to paraplegia and blindness.”
To try and combat these harmful urges, psychiatrists have tried treating BIID with medications that help with obsessive compulsive disorder with very little success. Other types of similar medications have been tried, with no significant effects. Currently, intense therapy is the main treatment for BIID. Though cases of BIID have been reported as early as 1785, the disorder is still largely a medical mystery.
See Shuping’s revealing interview about struggling with BIID and her extreme decision to blind herself.