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Do No Harm: The People Who Amputate Their Perfectly Healthy Limbs, And The Doctors Who Help Them

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  20 reviews
It's been called a psychological disorder. Sufferers have been ridiculed and labelled perverts. Yet the compulsion to be free of a limb is no imaginary illness. The feelings the condition generates are extraordinarily powerful — so strong that sufferers often seek out the most radical of treatments, and a few unorthodox surgeons risk their reputations to assist.

Now we may
Kindle Edition, 28 pages
Published November 10th 2012 by MATTER (first published January 1st 2012)
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Petra eXpertly navigates ignoring Monday
We've all heard of phantom limb syndrome where someone who has had a limb amputated still feels it, and often painfully. It isn't a psychological problem as much as a neurological one - the area of the brain that 'controlled' the limb is still operating. The opposite problem is having a limb that feels alien, Body Integrity Identity Disorder and that is psychological and not neurological in origin.

The person who has BIID feels that the limb doesn't belong to them, is alien and shouldn't be there
Simon Sweetman
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really amazing piece of writing, sympathetic, compassionate and manages to say a lot in a small space of time about a strange, intriguing condition. Cheap to buy too, won't cost you an arm and a leg. ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I grabbed on a whim when it was free for Kindle on Amazon. It was short but fascinating. I had no idea of the existence of this disorder. The book starts by explaining what little psychology is known about people who desire a limb amputation, then narrates one man's journey to find happiness. Written for the layperson, the book nicely covers our current knowledge and studies done without using technical terms. ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I read this Kindle single I had never heard of Body Integrity Identity Disorder -- which causes people to believe that one of their limbs is not *really* their own, but somehow an alien appendage. This cause such profound psychological distress that many sufferers try to amputate the offending limb by themselves. When they seek medical help, most doctors refuse to help, since they do not see a medical reason to remove a health limb. But within the community of BIID sufferers, there are "g ...more
This long article (28 pages) is about people who suffer from body integrity identity disorder (BIID), in which they feel very strongly that one or more body part does not belong to them. It impacts their very identity of self negatively, and they very often seek to have the offending part removed.

The article was very interesting and well written, with sympathy for the sufferers, but I felt it was a little one-sided. Although the author made it clear that the medical establishment does not view
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is certainly a new one on me: Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID, a psychological condition in which the sufferer feels compelled to remove one or more healthy limbs from his body. It sounds crazy, but there are people out there who feel that a part of their body is completely alien to them and, as such, desperately long for it to be removed. There's no question about their sincerity, as some go so far as to attempt self-amputation. Anil Ananthaswamy does a wonderful job of describin ...more
Jamie Rose
Well written article on a largely unheard of condition, BIID, similar to BDD, where the individual doesn't recognise their limbs as part if their body . The story follows one man seeking amputation of a healthy limb and the people who help and support those who this are afflicted by this psychiatric condition. Interesting subject, I did find myself sympathetic to David and Patrick's cause, however it's not something that I could personally relate to and some readers may find the subject upsettin ...more
Atila Iamarino
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gostei dessa linha de leituras longas, quase um livro, mais denso do que cabe em uma revista ou jornal e barato. E a história das pessoas que querem amputar membros próprios dá uma aflição e uma pena profunda.
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of BIID until I read this book.why anyone would feel that one or more of their appendages is not their own is beyond anything I could image. Why anyone would go to such lengths to rid themselves of an arm, leg, or a digit, well, I can't even imagine. ...more
Meli Lew
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You learn something new everyday, and with this essay I learned something that I couldn't stop reading. The disorder is heartbreaking, but you can't help but feel relief for those who were able to find peace. Even if I don't understand it myself...
Great read, really!
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short and easy to read but nonetheless fascinating look into Body Integrity Identity Disorder, where people feel so strongly that certain limbs do not belong on them that they actively seek amputation in order to gain freedom from the part of themselves that was holding them back.
A decent introduction to BIID. The writing could have been better and I thought it ended very abruptly with no real conclusion, but the subject is very interesting.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it's more of a long article rather than a book. wasn't too impressed ...more
A well written piece of journalism on a topic that I had very little prior knowledge of. The author gives a chilling insight into what it is to suffer from Body Integrity Identity Disorder.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction
I recently watched a Law & Order episode on a very similar topic so when I came across this I just had to read it. Informative and disturbing, totally worth the $0.99
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and insightful read. I look forward to reading more from Matter ...more
Kathy Boehm
A 28-page essay on a disturbing yet apparently real disorder. Eye opening and more than a tad creepy. Kindle single.
Interesting, but short and very fluffy. It read like a mid-length magazine article. I hope Matter has some longer meatier articles in the works.
Jamie Niedecker
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
FYI, this is a long article, not really a book. I downloaded without knowing that and was disappointed at the length.
Derrick Schultz
Another great MATTER article. Sure to raise a huge number of questions for any reader.
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ANIL ANANTHASWAMY is former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. He is a guest editor at UC Santa Cruz’s renowned science-writing program and teaches an annual science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. He is a freelance feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’s “Front Matter” and has written ...more

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