Weapon swallowing as a form of stress relief
Another fascinating case study. Patient with intellectual disability who swallowed sharp objects to reduce stress. If only this solution was a viable option to end world violence...
A 41-year-old male patient with intellectual disabilities presented after having swallowed approximately 20 sharp objects. While admitted to a psychiatric ward, surgeons removed a glove from his stomach endoscopically and pharmacologically facilitated the objects' complication-free bowel passage. The patient explained the swallowing as a means to release himself from tension induced by stress. His aberrant behavior also seemed to serve as a means to exert pressure on psychosocial workers. Other deviations included the pushing of sharp objects under the skin and multiple paraphiliae. As a child, the patient suffered from early psychological and physical traumatization. Both parents were allegedly physically abusive alcoholics. Apart from possible alcohol embryopathy and traumatic brain damage, meningitis, which the patient had at the age of three, is discussed as the most likely reason for his oligophrenia, associated with left-sided, temporo-parietal atrophy and epilepsy.
te Wildt BT, Tettenborn C, Schneider U, et al. Swallowing foreign bodies as an example of impulse control disorder in a patient with intellectual disabilities: A case report. Psychiatry (Edgemont). 2010;7(9):34-37