Identity or Pathology?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by goofyfish, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. goofyfish Analog By Birth, Digital By Design Valued Senior Member

    "Apotemnophilia" - This article about the desire to become an amputee is not for the faint of heart - not graphic, but pretty disturbing.

    One of the issues raised in the article concerns identity. At what point does the desire to physically makeover your body stop being a quest for identity and start to be a mental illness? Tattoos, piercing, genital mutilation (surgical), rhinoplasty, liposuction, sex reassignment, amputation - is there a line? Is the otherwise "normal" person who wants two healthy legs amputated any more disfuntional and ill than the girl who wants her entire body covered in tattoos, or the guy who wants to pierce one ear? Is it an identity issue, a control issue, a pathology?

    Your body is the one thing you absolutely own and nobody can tell you what to do with it. You can paint it, pierce it, put stuff in it, shave it, change it's weight, brand it, and surgically alter it. As more and more aspects of people's lives are controlled and protected, are some people making these changes just because they can?

    It seems sad to me that this might be the only thing they feel they have power over in their lives. Is it their only way of making a mark on their world?

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  3. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    goofyfish ...

    Re. "Is it their only way of making a mark on their world?"

    Speaking for myself, no.

    Rather, it is a way of permanently identifying myself, if you would, with a
    philosophy that I have been committed to for the better part of my life.
    Thus the avatar I post with, which had been a patch I wore for many
    decades, became the one tattoo I bear on my body when I decided
    that it was time to commit fully and make it a part of me unto death.

    Yeah, I know it's weird. But then I didn't get the nick 'Weird John' because
    I was a run-of-the-mill sort of guy over the years.

    Take care

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2002
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