People Are Turning Disabled By Choice And Calling Themselves 'Transabled'

People Are Turning Disabled By Choice And Calling Themselves 'Transabled'

These people with fully functioning bodies want to be amputees, paraplegics, blind or deaf.

Trigger Warning: This article contains details that may be distressing to readers.

There is a community of fully-abled people who want to be amputees, paraplegics, blind or deaf. They identify as "trans-abled". This term refers to people who choose to be disabled by their own choice. They say that they have a condition where they feel trapped in their able bodies. According to them, it's similar to how trans people feel born into the wrong gender. Some people have gone to extreme lengths to give themselves disabilities. Take North Carolina resident Jewel Shuping for example. She shared that she had always wanted to be blind from a young age. She found a psychologist who worked with her for two weeks to make sure this was something she really wanted to do. They finally figured that a drain cleaner would get the job done and went through with it. Although it was a painful process, she claims to be happier than ever. "My mother would find me walking in the halls at night, when I was three or four years old," she said, speaking to The Daily Mail. "By the time I was six I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable."  As a teenager, she began to wear thick black sunglasses and got her first cane at the age of 18. By age 20, she was fully fluent in Braille.


Shuping has been diagnosed by experts with Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a condition in which abled people believe they are meant to be disabled. Mark Comer is also one such person who told ABCNews.com, "For the longest time, I thought I was crazy. Maybe I am. In all other aspects of my life, I'm completely lucid -- except this one abnormal slice of my life." Since the age of 6, Comer said he's "rejected" his left leg above the knee. "For some reason it feels like there's a mistake in how my brain interprets my body," he said. "Anxiety. That sort of fits the description best. Frustration to a great degree. There was nothing in my mind other than getting rid of this effing leg."


Research scientist Chloe Jennings-White also wanted to be permanently paralyzed. Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Malan, who treats Jennings-White, told The Daily Mail, "The question I often ask is, is it better to have somebody pretending to use a wheelchair, or to commit suicide? One possibility could be to do some sort of nerve-blocking so that that limb could not actually be used for a period of time, to let the patient test the reality of being physically disabled temporarily. It would give BIID sufferers a chance to change their minds if they wanted to."


Shuping shared her story to raise public awareness of BIID. She also told people not to go about it the way she did saying, "I know there is a need but perhaps someday there will be a treatment for it. People with BIID get trains to run over their legs, freeze dry their legs, or fall off cliffs to try to paralyze themselves. It's very very dangerous. And they need professional help." Many people are not able to understand transableism as a concept fearing that it takes away from the struggles disabled people go through. Molly Burke commented: I went blind at 14 due to a rare eye disease and it's the hardest thing I've ever been through. I nearly took my own life because it was such a difficult adjustment and something I'd never wish on anyone. I find this absolutely offensive and don't understand how anyone in the blind community could be accepting of her choice... This is just shocking and I feel it just takes away from the hardships of going blind for those of us who don't choose this life.