LIFESTYLE & HEALTH
Disabled On Purpose: Woman With Rare Brain Condition Uses A Wheelchair Despite Having Healthy Legs
June 7, 2019 17:37
What would make a healthy woman pretend she is disabled?
Chloe Jennings-White, from Utah, didn’t choose to be this way.
She always knew she was different, and that her legs did not belong to her body. When she was 4, she saw her aunt in the leg braces after an accident. Back then, she wanted them very badly but couldn't understand why she could not have them. The young girl felt like she had to be paralyzed from the waist down.
As the grew up, her condition didn’t change.
Something in my brain tells me my legs are not supposed to work. Having any sensation in them just feels wrong.
Neurologists explain that Chloe is suffering from body integrity identity disorder, known as BIID. The reason for it lies in a brain dysfunction that occurs still in the womb. Unfortunately, there is no cure. It causes a distort image of a person's own body.
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Jennings-White was tempting fate and got into too many risky situations, hoping she would damage her spine nerves and end up in a wheelchair.
She even found a doctor who agreed to cut her sciatic and femoral nerves to help her become disabled. However, the price of £16,000 was too high to afford.
She is a fan of extreme skiing. While picking the steepest slopes, she dreamed of getting into an accident and suffer severe legs fractures. The same thoughts she has while driving her car.
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Doing any activity that brings a chance of me becoming paraplegic gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID.
Despite people's misunderstandings and insulting her, she keeps learning how to accept and live with her condition. Most of the time, she uses a wheelchair that gives her a major psychological relief.
She calls herself transabled, and wants to raise awareness about the condition, hoping for tolerance from society.
Is there a way to help people with BIID?
Researchers do not have much data about the condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are treatments that can help reduce depression in BIID patients. However, the effectiveness thereof hasn't been proved.
But there is a “social” cure that is often underestimated. By learning how to accept and provide support to those who differ from us, we can ease their suffering and social anxiety.
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