A recent study suggests that besides paying attention to family or relationship problems counselor and social workers should also be more open and understanding when it comes to self-identified vampires who want to disclose their nature to such professionals in an attempt to solve various issues which might affect them.
The study published in the journal Critical Social Work was conducted by D. J. Williams of Idaho State University. The study makes a difference between lifestyle vampires – who dress in black and wear fake fangs and genuine vampires who need other persons’ blood to gain energy. Williams says that real vampires refuse to tell the truth about themselves to counselors in order to avoid being ridiculed and even diagnosed with a mental illness.
Williams has been studying self-identified vampires for almost a decade and discovered that they come from various professions and social classes. They can be attorneys, doctors and even candlestick makers. He describes them as ordinary, successful people and also a conscientious and ethical community. He also added that most self-identified vampires say that they did not choose to be like this, but were born this way.
Self-identified vampires claim that in order to sustain their health they need a constant amount of extra energy which can be obtained either psychically or physically, that is small amounts of blood from willing donors or animals.
The study was conducted on eleven such persons who claim to be real vampires. Williams selected the participants for the study with the help of vampire leaders whom the researcher was acquainted with. The participants had adopted the identity of a vampire for approximately 14.2 years.
They were asked to answer to a survey whose results indicate that the vampires are very concerned with making their identity known to helping professionals. They are most worried about being laughed at, being considered evil and not being taken seriously or being diagnosed with a mental illness. What bothers William is that this fear of stigmatization prevents the vampires from talking about everyday problems which are more or less the same problems which normal people deal with such as struggles with career or relationships.
The authors of the study remarked:
“More education among social workers and helping professionals concerning alternative identities and practices is needed. We challenge social workers and helping professionals to consider embracing aspects of diversity, such as vampirism, which are not typically taught in social work curriculums.”
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