ABSTRACT

This chapter aims to establish how both Brooks Peter and Sumner Stephen use language and communicate to recreate themselves, and how this is manifested in the mirror-box, which Sumner Stephen uses to integrate his mind and body. It explains about how Peter and Stephen's cases can be explored beyond a medical approach. The chapter explores experiences of those with Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) and phantom limbs. Peter’s interaction with the internet doctor also parallels the psychoanalytic process in Winnicott’s theory. Many people with phantom limbs find medication to be unhelpful, and as Sumner Stephen explains, although opioids and Neurontin reduced the “panic element” that accompanies phantom limb pain, medication was ultimately useless. Like both Georges Perec and Peter, Sumner Stephen feels broken and psychosomatically dissonant in relation to a loss. Moreover, those with BIID pursue physical self-destruction in a desire to appease pain rather than to cause it.