Introduction: Body integrity dysphoria (BID) is a rare condition in which individuals experience a long-lasting desire to achieve a specific physical disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis of interoceptive and affective abnormalities in BID, in line with the evidence of structural and functional alteration of the interoceptive-affective neural system in these individuals. Method: Our study involved 68 participants with BID (mean age: 35.6, SD: 16.4). Among these participants, 47 expressed a desire for amputation, 14 desired paralysis, 3 sought sensory deprivation, and 3 desired a combination of these forms. For comparisons, we recruited a control group of 79 participants (mean age: 35.2, SD: 15.8). We administered assessment measures to investigate alexithymia level (TAS-20), disgust sensitivity (DS-R), interoceptive awareness (MAIA-2), and (affective and cognitive) empathy (QCAE). We also administered the Short Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE) to identify psychiatric comorbidities. Subgroups with low O-LIFE scores (BID = 31; controls = 43) and subgroups with high O-LIFE scores (BID = 37; controls = 36) were derived through a median-split procedure. Results: Within the BID low O-LIFE group, we found reduced interoceptive sensibility, reduced disgust sensitivity, and increased difficulty in identifying feelings, which refers to a dimension of the alexithymia trait. Within the BID high O-LIFE group, we observed a reduced disgust sensitivity and interoceptive sensibility, accompanied by a diminished score in cognitive empathy. Conclusion: Our study suggests that BID can be associated with altered interoceptive and affective processing.

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