Remember that the CODA Brothers made a joke in their vlog about CODA Implants? It was so hilarious! In reality, it is a no joke for those who wanted to become Deaf. Read on... Quicktime
Hello! I would like to share this article when I read for pleasure and was surprised that made me said, “WHAT?”. It was really a mind-blowing topic, “A Compelling Desire for Deafness” written by David Veale that was published in the summer of 2006 in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. I found it intriguing about how the article described the cases that focused on Self-Injured Behavior (SIB) and one of them identified a group of hearing people who wanted to become deaf. It allowed me to analyze difference cases that described how hearing wanted to become deaf as there were different ways.
For example, there is a hearing woman who wears a cotton wool dabbed with oil then placed it in her both ears so that noises can be prevented and it allows her to focus on learning signs easily. It is rationale for one to do it in order to focus on signs without the interference of noises. I recalled my former student teacher putting cotton wool in his ears that he wanted to focus entirely on signs and not to be distracted by noises so that he could learn signs better. It made sense to me but for this woman it was a different case since she wanted to become deaf. A psychologist in Great Britain who studied this case that a woman who wanted to become deaf concluded that the reason was because she wanted to gain her identity for herself so that she could be accepted by the Deaf community. Now here are several interesting questions to think about: Will those who are recognized that their desire to become deaf be labeled as one of the mental disorder cases? Or will it ever be acceptable for hearing patients to be offered an elective surgery to meet their needs?
Normally, there are different cases for the Deaf who want to become hearing (as in their attitude) as they desire by wearing assistive technology devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc. are not classified as a mental disorder case that the society perceives this as a normal case. However, for the hearing individuals who want to become deaf were identified as abnormal.
Now allow me to tell you in depth about these SIB cases that had actually happened indeed. Remember that long time ago when transsexual came in the picture, people perceived it in a very negative way and labeled as one of the mental disorder cases. It seems to me now this is much more acceptable whereas elective genital change or to remove the sexual parts is allowed that is now offered by the medical society. There is another case that where a group of individuals who wanted to contract HIV so that they can share similar experiences with their partners who have it. Again, there is another case about amputees who wanted to continue to remove their limbs. These are the examples as an elective surgery that they get to make their own decisions what they want to do with their bodies.
Now this case about a 36 year old woman who felt trapped like a Deaf person in a hearing body never felt right about it. She has a normal hearing and reported high sensitivity to sounds, not that she has a problem with tinnitus that means ringing in your ears. She just feels that sounds are associated to anger, irritation, aggravation that she wanted to do away with that with no sounds to hear, she feels peaceful. But she continues to struggle that she has a great difficulty to deal with background noises. When she got to learn British Sign Language (BSL), she finally felt like home. It is just like when a gay person comes in a gay bar and feels like right at home. That how was described in the article. Interesting!
This woman joined a group called, “Deaf Wannabes” where there is a group of hearing people on the internet sharing their desire to identify themselves as a Deaf person. Even there is a case that some of them wear hearing aids in their pictures that were posted on the Web that they are fetish with hearing aids and some of them focus on signs only with no use of voices and shut down their hearing. Most percentage of that group tend to wear hearing aids.
Anyway, back to this woman, she did receive therapy session not that she wanted to get help to overcome her desire to become deaf but to discuss about her desires to become deaf. She still continues to wear cotton wool that is inserted in her ears. She inquired about getting a surgery to help her to become deaf. Most (actually all) of them turned down her request. It was not the purpose for her to desire to become “disabled” so that she could receive disability checks. She wanted to become deaf so that she could feel comfortable with her identity. Remember, she has no tolerance with noises that she doesn’t feel physically comfortable with sounds. She even offered to pay for the surgery from her own pocket but the medical society had a hard time to decide whether or not if this would be allowed by offering surgery for those who want to become deaf.
Apparently, it is considered as a new case to them. It looks like that for those who fought to undergo gender reassignment surgery succeeded eventually that they were recognized just like those amputees who fought to have more limbs removed got recognition. However, for those who wanted to become deaf were turned down. Interesting! Does it mean that society viewed those who wanted to become deaf is so negative and unacceptable? Or if there are more demands for those who want to become deaf will eventually be accepted? What is your opinion?Note: This was pre-taped in January. It happened before the CODA Brothers joked about it so speaking of the devil!