Apotemnophilia is considered to be a disorder, rather than a paraphilia, as it is invoked by Body Integrity Dysphoria, or BID and comprises of a deep desire to become physically impaired or disabled, or to feel physical discomfort, despite being physically healthy.
Many people with the condition refer to themselves as “transabled”.
A similar condition is called acrotomophilia in which the patient is feeling a strong attraction towards amputees or wishes that their partner was an amputee.
Origin of the term
The phenomenon was first observed as a primarily sexually oriented condition, in 1977 by psychologists Gregg Furth and John Money, and the latter coined the term “apotemnophilia” for the phenomenon.
The word is comprised of the Greek words apo, meaning away, temno, meaning cut, and –philia meaning love or liking toward something.
Spread of the term
The condition received public attention during the 1990’s, when a Scottish surgeon, by the name of Robert Smith had amputated limbs of two healthy patients, who asked for their members to be cut away.
It was Michael First in 2004 who conducted clinical research on “apotemnophilia” and concluded that it is indeed not a paraphilia, but rather a psychological condition, thus he coined the term “body intergrity identity disorder”.
- Wikipedia – Body integrity dysphoria