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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Thank you so much for digging into therians! As someone who identifies as at least part-therian, this research means so much to me that I can share more knowledge of “why” I experience some things I do.
If I may:
On odd occasions, usually happier ones, I feel the slight sense of a tail avoiding a closing door behind me, or ears reacting to my emotions (down when sad/excited, up when alert, etc.)
To know that I may not be alone in experiencing the want to be non-human is freeing. Thank you again for what you do!
Thank you for the comment. You are not alone in these experiences. We look forward to sharing the results on our therian project.