Ordinarily, each of us experiences the primary and implicit sense of body ownership. Sometimes, however, this tacit harmony between body and mind can be problematic and become an object of explicit reflection. This study aims to investigate the first-person perspective of people living with Body Integrity Dysphoria (BID) through a qualitative questionnaire in order to highlight different features of this form of existence. People with BID aspire to amputation or functional/sensory deprivation of healthy body parts. These ‘bodies that hate themselves’ experience dissonance between the physical body and the one built through internalized narratives.
Body image disorders result from an altered complex system involving biological and psychosocial factors, including cultural and social customs, libidinal pressures, and sexual repression.
The purpose of this study is not to reject neuroscientific hypotheses, but to emphasize some aspects of the lived experience of these subjects that cannot be neglected. The idea is to move away from a purely reductionist view of this condition, investigating intersubjectivity, material objects, and social environments. Therefore, the hypothesis is that lived experience can influence some processes involved in BID. Our idea is that body image can be, to a certain degree, a plastic process. Beyond a possible neurological origin, we have tried to highlight a possible first phase of vulnerability in childhood, neuroplastic retroaction related to disability simulation, the potential influence of culture, and sharing of experiences. The primary purpose of this research is to reconcile the brain with the lived body, narratives, and environment.