Think vampires don't exist? Well, that belief is getting a run for its money after doctors in Turkey revealed a case study of what they believe could be a real-life vampire with insatiable cravings for blood and multiple personalities.
The 23-year-old married man's addictions reportedly began with him hacking at his own chest, belly, and arms with razor blades, so that he could drink his own blood from a cup. Later, the man's cravings soon developed into full-blown compulsions that were "as urgent as breathing," the doctors said.
According to Live Science.com, the man has been arrested numerous times for stabbing and biting other people for their blood. Reportedly, he even managed to persuade his father to get him bags of the stuff from blood banks.
The unnamed man's case study, which was published last fall, was released for public [subscribed] view on February 8, in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Doctors and psychotherapists attempting to treat the man have said specific traumatic events in his life preceded his two-year 'vampire' activities. First, his 4-month-old daughter became ill and died; he also witnessed the murder of his uncle; and he was a witness to a violent killing in which "one of his friends cut off the victim's head and penis."
In addition to blood cravings, the so-called vampire had also been seen talking to himself, and claimed to be tormented by an "imaginary companion" who forced him to commit violent acts and attempt suicide. The man has also experienced memory gaps and recalled instances of being in a location without knowing how he got there.
In their report, the doctors' led by Direnc Sakarya, of Denizli Military Hospital in southwestern Turkey, wrote:
"Possibly due to 'switching' to another personality state, he was losing track during the 'bloody' events, did not care who the victim was anymore, and remained amnesic to this part of his act."
The DID condition was made famous by the story of Shirley Mason --- or Sybil --- who was diagnosed as having 16 separate personalities as a result of extreme physical and sexual abuse by her mother.
The doctors in this modern-day vampire case study note that DID is often linked to childhood abuse and neglect. In the case of the man they treated, his mother apparently had "episodes" during his adolescence in which she attacked him.
Following the man's treatment by doctors, he was monitored for six weeks afterwards. Doctors found that the man's blood-drinking activities stopped, but his dissociative symptoms continued. The man apparently told doctors that his "drugs were merely sleeping pills, they would not cure him."
It is now known whether the man suffered any long term health consequences due to drinking blood. While small quantities may be harmless to the human body, regular consumption of blood exposes an individual to the risks such as haemochromatosis (iron overdose) or contracting blood-borne diseases if they are getting it from other people, NBC ScienceNews notes.