Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dreaming of Being Paralyzed

On this coming Monday's episode of Anderson, he talks to a guest named Chloe who tells him about her secret desire to be paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Chloe (who is completely able-bodied) says, "The only thing that would really make me happy in life is to be a paraplegic." She goes on to say, "In terms of my pursuit of happiness, the wheelchair gets me part way there and paraplegia will be like the fulfillment of my lifetime dream to be who I'm meant to be." Chloe admits that she's even looked into having a doctor sever her spinal cord to make her dreams come true. All I have to say is that although being disabled has a few perks now and then, it's really not all it's cracked up to be! (And I seriously hope there's not a doctor out there that would really consider doing this because it would be highly unethical!)

Although Chloe's desire sounds crazy to you and me, she's suffers from a real medical condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder where she feels like she's living in the wrong body. (Sort of similar to a transgendered a man/woman who feels that they are living in the wrong body.) I definitely don't condemn her for feeling the way she does and I have a lot of compassion for her since she obviously has some sort of mental illness. The mind sure can have some weird defects.


Karen Mortensen said...

She is crazy. That is really sad.

Jackie said...

I guess it highlights that you can never underestimate the power of the mind. Her brain seems to have decided she should be paraplegic so that's what she wants. The brain is a strange organ, when the wires get crossed, things get very strange! She's not crazy though, she has a mental illness and in her mind, wanting paraplegia seems completely logical.

Lisa said...

I have a sister who was also involved in an automobile accident and left paralyzed a quadriplegic. For anyone to say they wish they were paralyzed just shows their complete ignorance to what a paralyzed person deals with. It is not a fun situation by any means and I think it's really sad that a person would wish that upon anyone, let alone herself. I am sure there are plenty of paralyzed people who would be willing to trade situations with this woman, but life doesn't work that way.

I do not think a doctor could ethically do something like severing a spinal cord intentionally. That would be wrong on so many levels.
I agree with a previous comment that this woman who wishes paralysis for herself does have mental illness. Hopefully she will get help for her issues.

I'm glad I found your blog.

Carol Ann said...

What a bizarre desire. Some things,people are completly incomprehensible.
I noticed that she seems to fully enjoy the use of her arms and hands.
It is so sad that she cannot appreciate the fully able body she has and put it to better use than wishing it away.

Anonymous said...

It is weird, isn't it? There are also some out there whose desire is for amputation(s) instead of paralysis. The closest comparison is probably to transgendered folks, and their sense of being in the "wrong body" least there's medical options for them; I don't think there'll ever be a time where doctors will damage a healthy body, no matter how driving the psychological need is.

Loretta Valenta said...

I so agree with Lisa. I saw the beginning of this show and felt so annoyed that Chloe is getting so much attention for her desire. She gets on a national talk show for it!!! UGH! I found myself feeling angry wih her to think that she treats so light heartedly something that is so difficult for people who truly are paraplegic. I think it's really easy for her to spout how that is her dream to be that way but the truth is that she CAN move, she CAN stand up, she ISN'T totally dependent on someone for her care, she CAN go hiking and walking...the list goes on. I couldn't stomach her anymore so I had to change it.

Stephanie said...

I've heard of this mental illness! Some people are born believing that one of their limbs doesn't belong to them. It feels like a foreign part of them that they're not supposed to have. Then they go and find a doctor to take that limb off--like a hand, leg, arm etc. Or if they can't do that... they find a way to do it themselves.

Yeah, the mind is so bizarre!

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