There are real vampire communities in the U.S. and they too need to receive unbiased and unprejudiced medical attention when in need.
Because no, they are not the immortal embodiment of demonic forces that feed on human blood. They are people who choose an alternative identity that best fits their needs. While hard to understand what process might lead to self-identifying as a vampire, the fact remains that real vampires are among us. And they are human.
Albeit humans who need to drink small amounts of blood from animals or other volunteer donors, self-identified real vampires acknowledge that drinking blood is a form of energizing their bodies.
One theory relates this need with the lack of iron. Drinking the blood of healthy volunteer donors or animals might bring the needed ratio of iron to sustain energy levels. But it can also prove detrimental for the liver and heart.
From this perspective, Dr. DJ Williams and Dr. Emily Prior of the Center for Positive Sexuality in Los Angeles took to studying the implications of this alternative identity for those who self-identify as real vampires.
Their study can be found in the journal Critical Social Work under the name “Do We Always Practice What We Preach? Real Vampires’ Fears of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals”.
The study took the form of an open-end questions survey completed by 11 self-identified real vampires. Their identity is revealed to have been upheld for an average of 14.2 years. Impressive if we think of the commonly held perception that modern vampires are the media-shaped teenagers clad in dark gloomy gothic attire emulating pop-culture icons.
The questions features in the survey looked at gaining insight on how this alternative identity collides with social environments, particular with respect to medical care or psychological treatment.
Unsurprisingly, the self-identified real vampires withhold their identity from society at large and from clinicians as well. They don’t take up their health problems with clinicians out of fear that they are labeled as psychotic, evil or a joke.
Consequently, self-identified real vampires fear that any medical care would either be refused or biased and prejudiced.
The conclusion of the study published by Emily Prior and DJ Williams reads:
“People of all kinds sometimes struggle with relationship issues or have a death in the family or struggles with career and job-type issues. Some of these people with alternate identities may come to a therapist with these issues, and if clinicians are open and educated about this group they should be able to help the individual much better.”
As such, the authors believe that an open mind could go a long way in helping real vampires disclose their identity. Education in this sense is also urged in areas of study where the curriculum doesn’t typically include vampire studies as well.
Social workers and clinicians could greatly benefit from this study in terms of education.
Image Source: vamped.org