An American woman has opened up on her drastic decision to pour drain cleaner into her eyes after dreaming of being blind since she was a child.
According to Mirror UK, Jewel Shuping, from North Carolina, was born healthy but at the age of 21, she became obsessed with losing her sight.
During an interview, she claimed she saw a psychologist whom she asked to pour drain cleaner into her eyes so that she could fulfill her lifelong dream.
Shuping said she waited to seek medical attention and that doctors tried to save her eyesight but she gradually lost it and is now almost completely blind. The woman, who is now 38, has Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a rare condition that causes people born with no disabilities to believe they are supposed to be disabled.
During an interview with People, Shuping explained how she had been thinking about being blind since she was a child, adding that her mother would find her walking in the halls at night when she was three or four years old.
She explained: "By the time I was six, I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable."
When she was a teenager, she bought a white cane and learnt to read Braille, becoming fluent by the age of 20. Then in 2006, she claims she found a psychologist - but refused to give their name - who understood her condition and agreed to pour drain cleaner into her eyes after putting in numbing eye drops.
Recalling the moment she had drain cleaner poured into her eyes, she said: "It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin. All I could think was, 'I am going blind, it is going to be okay.'"
She said she waited for 30 minutes before going to a hospital, where hospitals tried to help her against her wishes, but by that time the damage was already done and over the next six months, her eyesight gradually faded.
"I was so happy; I felt that this was who I was supposed to be." She also said: "I went blind on purpose, but I don't feel it was a choice," she added.
Shuping said her decision to blind herself ruined her relationship with her family. She explained that she initially told them she had lost her sight in an accident, but she claimed when her mother and sister learnt the truth, they decided to cut ties with her.
While she said she doesn't regret her decision, she said that anyone who has BIID should avoid doing what she did even though they feel a need to do it. She added she hopes one day there will be treatment for the complex condition.
She said: "Don't go blind the way I did. I know there is a need, but perhaps someday there will be treatment for it. People with BIID get trains to run over their legs, freeze-dry their legs or fall off cliffs to try to paralyse themselves. It's very dangerous. And they need profession