Body Integrity Dysphoria (BID): What it is and why Catholics need be aware of it

The BBC headline read “‘Eunuch-maker’ mutilator jailed for 22 years” – it was enough to grab anyone’s attention. The article spoke of a degenerate group, led by Marius Gustavson, impersonating surgeons and performing “extreme body modifications” on paying customers, then streaming the procedures online for subscribers.

I will not recount the story in detail, but the BBC article does highlight one significant phrase used by the defence to explain Gustavson’s actions: “Body Integrity Dysphoria” (BID).

BID is defined as “a rare…condition in which there is a mismatch between the mental body image and the physical body”. Surgery for it is illegal in the UK, and its sufferers are recommended intense psychotherapy.

Seeing themselves as “transabled” (identifying as having a physical disability or impairment, despite being physically able-bodied), those claiming they experience BID wish to “transition” their able body into one of disability. This may include undergoing surgical intervention to disable them, allowing them to live as their “true” selves. Gustavson claims to be one of these BID individuals. Having had his own genitalia and part of his nipple removed along with freezing his leg, he displays BID traits.

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