—- Psychology Spotlight —- Autophagia
Autophagia is, to be blunt, a disorder in which individuals develop a compulsion to chew on and swallow themselves, or parts of themselves. Individuals who suffer from this condition find it difficult to resist the impulse to bite, chew, or nibble on parts of their own bodies, often the fingers, toes, or hair.
This disorder may or may not be sexual in nature, and can exist as a standalone disorder, or present as a symptom indicative of schizophrenia or psychosis.
It can be treated with aversion therapy (for example, painting parts of the body with a bitter-tasting substance to discourage chewing).
Like any pathology, it can range in severity from being quite mild to being life-threatening.