Alessandro Capodici

Bodily Narratives. Phenomenological Remarks on Body Integrity Dysphoria (BID)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Body Image, Body Ownership, Xenomelia, Plasticity, Bodily Subjectivity.

This work explores the insights offered by Freedberg and Pennisi in The Body in the Picture. The focus is on Body Integrity Dysphoria (BID), which in the essay of the two authors represents a fundamental opportunity to investigate the sociobiological constitution of body experience. In agreement with Freedberg and Pennisi, it will be argued that in order to understand the multidimensional complexity of BID, it is necessary to look also at the lived and shared experience of these subjects. The aim is to describe the plastic characteristics of the body image, which act not only on the conscious level but also on the pre-reflective one. Consider, therefore, what «overflows» from the notion of body image and qualifies the body experience as a mundane project. Subsequently, the most recurrent features of the existential mode of BID sufferers will be introduced, including the words of some participants in our qualitative questionnaire. After describing the personal and intersubjective characteristics of the desire for amputation, the discussion will move towards a phenomenological horizon, emphasizing the affective dimension of the sense of body ownership. Moreover, through the expression of «bodily narrative», it will be described how the affective component that binds the Self to one’s body can be compromised in the desire for amputation, both at the implicit and explicit level. Finally, this bodily discrepancy will be discussed in the context of new experimental techniques and therapeutic protocols.

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