People that identify themselves as vampires are hesitant about going to see their GP or other health care provider out of fear of ridicule, stigma, or a diagnosis of a mental illness, new study suggests.
And the fact that one may get an energy boost from ingesting human blood of willing donors may not be an easy thing to swallow by any therapist. D.J. Williams, lead author of the study and social science researcher at the Idaho State University found that “real-life vampires” keep their practices of consuming human blood, sleeping in a coffin during daytime, and having sleepless nights a secret.
The most cited reasons of why they choose to do so were fear of social ridicule, stereotyping and a diagnosis of mental disease.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Critical Social Work in Canada, revealed that there are differences between “lifestyle” vampires, who use fake fangs, and “authentic” vampires who report blood cravings. Nevertheless, the latter are concerned that they may be stigmatized by their physicians because the medical field doesn’t tolerate biases.
Williams who had studied the social phenomenon for almost ten years said that self-identified vampires are usually very ordinary people, some of them successful like lawyers or doctors and they usually come from every walk of life.
Yet they have a blood issue. That’s the reason why some seek consent of an adult to allow them perform a small incision and take a few sips of blood to boost their energy levels when they feel drained.
Although such behavior was never listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychiatric literature deemed it as an uncommon psychiatric syndrome along with stigmata, possession and lycanthropy. The syndrome is most commonly known as “clinical vampirism” or the “Renfield’s syndrome.”
Nevertheless, the syndrome had been associated with extremely violent crimes since the 1890s, while a 1983 study noted that while female self-identified vampires were not likely to assault anyone to satisfy their blood cravings, males are “potentially dangerous.”
Back in the 1980s researchers analyzed the case of four people including John G. Heigh the acid bath murderer, who confessed to nine crimes and that he had drunk his victims’ blood. Heigh told investigators that he had blood-themed dreams since he was a child and a decisive blood-related vision during adulthood.
Williams conducted his study on 11 volunteers who self-identified as authentic vampires. The participants reported that they had a really tough time in finding clinicians that don’t judge them and accept their alternative lifestyle.
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