Apotemnophilia: a comprehensive overview.

Akano OT1,2*, Oduguwa OI2,3
1College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
2Slum and Rural Health Initiative Research Academy, Ibadan, Nigeria.
3College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Oluwadara Tomisin Akano; +234 813 646 36233; akanooluwadara@yahoo.com

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This paper describes apotemnophilia, a rare condition in which an otherwise healthy person has a strong desire to amputate a healthy body part. This article aims to increase awareness about the condition and extend the knowledge base of health professionals and the general population. The study involved an extensive search of the literature on the epidemiology, aetiology, symptoms, diagnosis and management of this condition. It was found that the desire to get rid of a limb can get overwhelmingly strong that the patients try to amputate themselves at a specific level. This is usually a result of the feeling of mismatch between the actual physical appearance and perceived true self of the individual. These thoughts cause distress which can disrupt the social life of those affected and distract them from their daily activities. The paper also describes the possible causes of apotemnophilia which can be psychological or neurological. Furthermore, it highlighted a set of diagnostic criteria that characterise this condition. Although there is no proven effective treatment; psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are the mainstays of treatment.
The article reveals the need for further studies to investigate the perception of the general population about apotemnophilia and offers recommendations for improving the management of the condition.

Keywords: Apotemnophilia, Amputation, Amputee, Mental Health.

Cite this article: Akano OT, Oduguwa OI. Apotemnophilia: a comprehensive overview. Yen Med J. 2021;3(1):12–16.


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