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, 12, 1419-23

Body Integrity Identity Disorder Crosses Culture: Case Reports in the Japanese and Chinese Literature


Body Integrity Identity Disorder Crosses Culture: Case Reports in the Japanese and Chinese Literature

Rianne M Blom et al. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat.


Body integrity identity disorder (BIID) is a condition in which people do not perceive a part of their body as their own, which results in a strong desire for amputation or paralyzation. The disorder is likely to be congenital due to its very early onset. The English literature describes only Western patients with BIID, suggesting that the disorder might be merely prevalent in the West. To scrutinize this assumption, and to extend our knowledge of the etiology of BIID, it is important to trace cases with BIID in non-Western populations. Our objective was to review Chinese and Japanese literature on BIID to learn about its presence in populations with a different genetic background. A systematic literature search was performed in databases containing Japanese and Chinese research, published in the respective languages. Five Japanese articles of BIID were identified which described two cases of BIID, whereas in the Chinese databases only BIID-related conditions were found. This article reports some preliminary evidence that BIID is also present in non-Western countries. However, making general statements about the biological background of the disorder is hampered by the extremely low number of cases found. This low number possibly resulted from the extreme secrecy associated with the disorder, perhaps even more so in Asian countries.

Keywords: amputation; apotemnophilia; cross-cultural comparison; genetics; phenomenology; treatment.

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