7.5 Phantom Limb

In a recent study of furries and therians, we asked participants to indicate whether or not they had ever experienced the phenomenon of phantom body parts—that is, sensations from a limb or body part that was non-existent. Many people who have had amputations experience sensations as though the limb were still present. As many therians report discomfort with their human body, and some suggest feeling that they are physically not 100% human,1 we tested whether the experience of phantom limbs was more prevalent in therians. Sure enough, therians were significantly more likely than non-therians to experience phantom body parts. Follow-up questions revealed that for those experiencing the phantom limbs, 70.4% found it to be “sometimes” or “always” distressing. For therians who said that they experienced a variety of other therianthropic experiences (e.g., “shifts” into a non-human animal mindset), 54.7% found it “sometimes” or “always” distressing, while 43.4% said that they never found it distressing.

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  1. See section 7.2 Therians: Animal Identification

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