Woman Blinds Herself in Order to Fulfill Childhood Dream

Tyra Williams, Staff Writer

Jewel Shuping, now 30, dreamed of being blind ever since she was a little girl. She was born completely healthy but says she always knew she was born to be disabled, and recently took matters into her own hands. At the age of 21, Shuping had a psychiatrist pour drain cleaner in her eyes, then waited to seek medical attention. Afterwards, she gradually lost her eyesight and is now almost completely blind.

Shuping suffers from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a rare condition causing able-bodied people to believe they are supposed to be disabled. “When I was young, my mother would find me walking in the halls at night. When I was 3 or 4 years old,” Shuping recalls. “By the time I was 6 I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable.” Body Integrity Identity Disorder is not a medically recognized disorder by the American Psychiatric Association’s because most sufferers do not seek medical attention.

Shuping is aware of the drastic measures she took to feel comfortable in her body, and urges others to not go as far, and to seek medical help. She also refuses to name her sympathetic psychiatrist who assisted her in her blindness. Shuping claims that she is happy and does not regret any of her decisions, she has been carrying a white stick since her teens and has been fluent in reading braille for nearly fifteen years. Although her mother and sister do not talk to her anymore, she is happier than she has ever been.