FOR most people becoming blind would be a living nightmare – but for Jewel Shuping it was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Jewel, 30, from North Carolina, USA, has Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a condition in which able-bodied people believe they are meant to be disabled. Her need to lose her sight was so strong that in 2006 she decided to blind herself – by having a sympathetic psychologist pour DRAIN CLEANER into her eyes. As a young child she would spend hours staring at the sun in a bid to damage her eyes, acquiring her first white cane aged 18 and becoming fully fluent in braille by the age of 20. Tired of being secretive due to the stigma surrounding the condition, Jewel is now sharing her story to help raise public awareness of BIID and to encourage people with the condition to seek professional help.
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