The medical journal BMJ Cases Report reports the case of a French patient to whom the doctors had to operate to extract more than one hundred metallic objects from the body. The man, who has been diagnosed with a variety of psychoses, compulsively ingested all kinds of metal objects, from small ones like bolts or pins, to larger ones like spoons or knives.
once inside the body, these objects caused several hemorrhages. Its accumulation known as the medical term bezoar) also caused the obstruction of the pylorus, the opening that communicates the stomach with the small intestine.
It took up to four different operations to be able to remove all the objects that the patient had inside the body. The patient also had a noticeable hole in the stomach caused by the ingestion of the metal.
But why do people do something like that? The authors of the study say that it is a more habitual behavior than is believed. In some cases it may be intentional, like that of some prisoners who want to force themselves to be transferred to the infirmary.
In the case of the French patient it seems that the psychosis he suffered caused him to hear voices that urged him to swallow such objects. But doctors also explain that there are other people who have syndromes that lead them to self-injure themselves that way.