People who claim to be real vampires and must drink others' blood for energy are hesitant to talk to psychological counselors and other helping professionals about their lives because they fear being "judged as being wicked or evil or viewed as being psychotic, delusional or having a psychological problem," according to a new scientific study.
Idaho State University social work professor DJ Williams and Emily Prior of Los Angeles's Center for Positive Sexuality recently published their research on these self-identified vampires in a paper titled "Do We Always Practice What We Preach? Real Vampires' Fears of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals"
"People with alternative identities have the same set of issues that everybody has," Williams said. "People of all kinds sometimes struggle with relationship issues or have a death in 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."
"This is a study with a specific alternative identity but it also relates to a larger issue that we are moving into as we are seeing more alternative identities and practices," Williams said. "In our codes of ethics, and this is true of social work, counseling, psychology and medicine, we talk about being open and non-judgmental and to try to understand a client's world and context. This study explored the world and context of self-proclaimed vampires. A lot of clinicians are still not willing to accept these types of studies or are not aware of them."