acquired disability, identity, change, resilience, independence, phantom limb syndrome


The aim of this essay is mainly focused on how the acquired disability can induce the affected people to reconstruct a new identity. To do so, self- emotional supports such as resilience are paramount for the acceptance of the new self that will eventually lead the way to independence. The body is considered zero point of every look, of every perception, which faces the world. It is a here that cannot become a there, in its characteristic as a cognitive geometrical around which the world and the intersubjective dimension unveil to consciousness. But, to the phenomenological reflection, we will add that it is not enough to affirm that man is an incarnate consciousness since he is at the same time a self-conscious body. It is a matter that, after acquiring life, has become aware of its existence. The body represents the manifestation of man in the world, as a 'limen' – a border, a passage between two worlds, the internal and external world. Thanks to his being a body in communication with the world, man acts and creates culture. Surprising that, due to the amputation of a limb, the ‘patient’ continued to perceive the missing limb as still present, as an integral part of his body, precisely the so-called phantom limb. The phantom limb syndrome plays an important role in understanding the reason for existing sensations after the amputation, making patients sense and believe that they can still walk or stand on the missing limb. This phenomenon “shows how the sense of possession of a limb depends on the cerebral representation of the same; how the awareness and experience of one's own body constitute the anchor on which the sense of self develops.


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