Jewel Shuping, a woman diagnosed with Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), had always dreamed of being blind. As strange as it may seem, she arranged to have drain cleaner poured in her eyes to fulfill her lifelong dream.
The 30-year-old woman from North Carolina allegedly asked an unnamed psychologist to pour drain cleaner into her eyes in 2006. Since then, Shuping has lost her vision.
Shuping’s desire to be blind started when she was just a toddler. According to her, she would walk around her darkened home at night and stare at the sun for hours after learning that it would harm her eyes.
When she was a teenager, Shuping began acting as if she was really blind by wearing bulky sunglasses and using a cane.
She became fluent in Braille by the age of 20.
Because of her decision to go blind through the extreme measure, one of her eyes had to be removed because of damage, while the other one remains, despite suffering from cataracts and glaucoma.
Initially, she told her family that her blindness was accidental but they stopped talking to her after learning the truth.
Despite its consequences, Shuping has no regrets.
“I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born, that I should have been blind from birth. When there’s nobody around you who feels the same way, you start to think that you’re crazy. But I don’t think I’m crazy, I just have a disorder,” she said.
Shuping, who is taking an education degree, decided to share her story to encourage people with BIID to seek professional help.
Watch Shuping’s story below.
What is Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID)?
Body Integrity Identity Disorder, according to BIID.org, occurs when an individual’s idea of how they should look does not match their physical form. The psychological condition causes an individual to believe he or she should be disabled.
It is often manifested by a desire to have an amputation of a specific part of the body. In most cases, the body part the affected individual wishes to have removed is in healthy working order. This is because the brain is unable to provide an accurate plan of the body.
In extreme cases, affected individuals do bodily harms such purposely injuring the specific body part to necessitate an operation.