Doctors report real-life vampire addicted to human blood

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
vampire, human blood, PTSD, dissociative identity disorder
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These days, vampires are a popular topic for books, movies, and video games. However, most of us can be counted among those that do not believe in their existence. Now, Turkish doctors have published a case report of a man who has assumed the role of a real-life vampire. They published their report on February 8 in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

In addition to a thirst for human blood, the 23-year-old married man also suffers from having multiple personalities. The man, whose name and hometown were not revealed in the report, began his chilling activity by slicing his own arms, chest, and abdomen with razor blades, letting the blood drip into a cup so he could drink it. However, when he experienced compulsions to drink blood “as urgent as breathing,” he moved on to other sources. He has been arrested several times after stabbing and biting others to collect and drink their blood. He apparently even got his father to get him bags of the bodily fluid from blood banks.

Obviously, Mr. Vampire is one severely disturbed individual. The physicians reported that they found traumatic events in his life leading up to his two-year bloodsucking phase. His four-month-old daughter became ill and died; he witnessed the murder of his uncle; and he saw another violent killing. He also had been seen talking to himself, and he claimed to be tormented by an “imaginary companion” who forced him to carry out violent acts and attempt suicide. He also had memory gaps in his daily life and reported instances of being in a new place without any idea of how he got there. The report noted that by switching to another personality state, he was losing track during the events and did not care who the victim was anymore; thus, remaining amnesic to this part of his act.

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The team of doctors led by Direnc Sakarya, of Denizli Military Hospital in southwestern Turkey, ultimately diagnosed Mr. Vampire with dissociative identity disorder (DID), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic depression and alcohol abuse. They note that to the best of their knowledge, the man is the first patient with “vampirism” and DID.

Dissociative identity disorder was made famous by the story of Shirley Mason, or Sybil, who was diagnosed as having 16 separate personalities as a result of physical and sexual abuse by her mother. The authors of this case study note that DID is often linked to childhood abuse and neglect. Mr. Vampire’s mother apparently had “freak out” episodes during his adolescence in which she attacked him; however, he also claimed to have no memory of his childhood between the ages of 5 and 11. In a follow-up six weeks after he was treated, the physicians reported that his blood-drinking behavior was in remission; however, his dissociative symptoms persisted. He also apparently insisted that his “drugs were merely sleeping pills, they would not cure him.”

It is unclear whether the man suffered any health consequences because of his grisly habit; however, the human body is not well adapted for digesting blood. Small quantities may be harmless; however, anyone who consumes blood regularly runs a risk of hemochromatosis (excessive iron content in the blood), which results in iron deposits forming in internal organs, damaging them. Blood consumption from other individuals can also result in contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

Reference: Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

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