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Real-Life Turkish Vampire Now Cured

A man just recovered from a condition his doctor called "clinical vampirism"—which was characterized by insatiable cravings for human blood

In a bizarre story from Turkey, a man just recovered from a condition his doctor called “clinical vampirism”—which was characterized by insatiable cravings for human blood. This man’s disease earned him a research paper write-up in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2011, but following two years of treatment, he’s been cured, UPI reports.

In the paper, the man’s doctor, Direnc Sakarya, describes the case:

A 23-year-old married male (3rd of 6 siblings) presented with a 2-year history of ‘addiction’ to drinking blood. He used to cut his arms, chest, and abdomen with razor blades to collect the blood in a cup and to drink it. The initial interest in drinking his own blood had subsequently turned to that of others’. These ‘crises’ were characterized by a strong urge to drink blood immediately, ‘as urgent as breathing’. He enjoyed the smell and taste of blood despite finding this ‘foolish’. He also enjoyed biting wounds of others to taste flesh. He was arrested several times after attacking people by stabbing and biting them with the intention of collecting and drinking their blood. He forced his father to obtain blood from blood banks.

His ‘thirst’ for blood started after the illness and death of his 4-month-old daughter 3 years earlier. He also associated this condition with the murder of his uncle 4 years earlier which he witnessed and still recalled lucidly. He remembered hugging the dead body and feeling blood smeared on his face. He witnessed another violent murder 3 years earlier when one of his friends cut off the victim’s head and penis.

Clearly, this man had some issues. The vampirism continued to get worse, eventually leading him to stab and bite others in an attempt to get at their blood. He also seemed to be having schizophrenic-like symptoms and suffered from amnesia from time to time. The research paper continues, reading much like an excerpt from a horror story:

He stated, ‘there are two me’s in myself ’. He reported seeing a tall man with a black coat younger than him and a 6- to 7-year-old ‘imaginary companion’. The latter forced him to conduct violent acts and suicide, dictating: ‘jump on him’, ‘choke him’, ‘kill yourself’. Seemingly related to these internal dialogues, others observed him talking to himself occasionally. 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.

He had recently realized that this imaginary companion resembled his own childhood. He felt himself to be a ‘slave’ to him.

The doctor describes the patient as having grown up in a very poor neighborhood in Denizli, an industrial city in southwest Turkey. During his childhood, his mother would frequently have “freak out” episodes and sometimes attack him. He completed only 8 years of formal education and did not remember much of his life between the ages of 5 to 11. The paper reports that “his trunk was covered with tattoos, some of them hiding hypertrophic self-infliction scars.” 

When the patient finally came to the clinic, he had lost hope of recovery and made statements such as, “This mess can end by my death only” and “God wanna rescue me.”

Eventually, schizophrenia and antisocial or borderline personality disorder were ruled out. The doctors arrived at a complex diagnosis of vampirism, dissociative identity disorder (the first time, they believe, these two conditions have occurred simultaneously in a person), major depressive disorder, alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. The doctors conclude that, “Tragically, the PTSD of this patient was reinforced by his own criminal experiences.” 

Luckily for society and for the patient, that bloody cycle has reportedly been broken. But between face-eating zombies and now blood-sucking vampires, all this world needs is a werewolf, and we’ll be set for real-life Hollywood horror.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Happy Birthday to the Father of the Modern Vampire  
Meet the Real-Life Vampires of New England and Abroad 

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