This isn’t another rant on BIID, per se. For my thoughts on BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder), read here, or here, and finally here. If you don’t know what BIID is or even why I’m writing this, you’ll want to check out these links before reading this.
The movie Quid Pro Quo was one I had to review. I was interested in the movie because it was supposed to be about a paralyzed reporter who gets involved with an underground group of people with BIID, while investigating a story. I should warn you that this contains spoilers, so if you want to see this movie, you probably shouldn’t continue reading this.
The entire movie, I felt this tightness in my chest. It was if every fiber of my being was screaming how wrong this was. Vera Farmiga’s entire performance creeped me out. I’m not even sure I can watch The Departed again without seeing her in this light. Her character is obsessed with becoming paralyzed, and she has this crazy fetish for braces, wheelchairs, and having sex with a paralyzed guy, without taking him out of his chair.
The entire emphasis is on the fact that people want to be paralyzed or disabled due to psychological events that happen in their lives, and for many, this is a sexual thing, a fetish. Sure, those with BIID say that isn’t the way that it is, but then they go and post how putting on diapers makes their willies happy. Many of them get their jollies from “pretending” and the wannabes are as bad about this as the pretenders are.
All of the stories I’ve read about those who claim to have BIID talk about sad, pathetic childhoods or overbearing parents, abusive parents, abusive priests or psychologists, and the list goes on. In essence, it is as if these people feel inadequate due to events in their life, so they associate it with being in a wheelchair, being paralyzed, or amputating a limb.
In a 60 Minutes expose on the subject, many of those who amputated, felt remorse. They changed their tunes after amputation, when it was too little, too late. The persistent feeling of wanting to be disabled didn’t dissipate nor did their life become magically better. For some, they became even more depressed, now truly understanding what being disabled meant. Don’t I have a right to be offended by this, because I didn’t have a choice in the matter of becoming disabled, yet people think its cool or a fad?
The most disappointing aspect of Quid Pro Quo is the fact the paralyzed man who serves as the protagonist isn’t really paralyzed. Sure, he didn’t know he was only kidding himself, but this is utterly unrealistic. Some doctor would have caught this and it kind of put a damper on the entire tone of the movie. While the BIID sufferers were psychotic in their desire to make themselves “disabled”, many of them weren’t willing to take the final step and become disabled, even if they had the means and opportunity to do so. The paralyzed reporter’s miraculous recovery is a little too rainbows and sunshine for me. Perhaps, a movie that truly explores paralysis and the normalcy those of us with disabilities can have in our lives, will one day be produced.
Either way, the only good this movie does is emphasize the psychological problems those with BIID face, and opens up the discussion for why this should even be considered a logical medical condition and not a neurosis, fetish or aspect of perspective mental health issues. Treatment should involve medication and behavioral modification, not hacking off limbs or making someone paralyzed with medication.