Woman Says Disorder Caused Her to Make Herself Blind

Jewel Shuping says she had someone put drain cleaner in her eyes
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2015 9:51 AM CDT
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Jewel Shuping has been preoccupied with blindness since she was a young girl. She says she used to roam the halls at night at age 3 or 4, the idea of being blind felt "comfortable" when she was 6, and she spent hours staring at the sun when her mother told her it would hurt her eyes, reports the Daily Mirror. By the time she was a teenager, Shuping was wearing dark glasses, carrying a white cane, and mastering Braille. "I was 'blind-simming,' which is pretending to be blind," she says. "But the idea kept coming up in my head, and by the time I was 21 it was a non-stop alarm that was going off." Shuping says she suffers from body integrity identity disorder (BIID), in which able-bodied people think they're supposed to be disabled.

Today Shuping, who's 30 and lives in North Carolina, says she's happier than ever now that her dream to be blind has finally come true, even though her mother and sister have cut off contact, reports KFOR, citing Barcroft TV. She originally told her family she lost her sight in an accident, but she says the real story is that she worked with a psychologist who put a numbing agent and then a few drops of drain cleaner in each eye. "It hurt, let me tell you," she says. "My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin. But all I could think was, 'I am going blind, it is going to be OK.'" Shuping, who won't name the psychologist, says she hopes her story will raise awareness of BIID. "I don't think I'm crazy, I just have a disorder." (Roseanne Barr is going blind.)

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