I think this is a very good point...
Sat Aug 12 07:38:38 2000
...and something I hesitate to bring up in
public for fear of offending people, but...
I get so many e-mail's, and see so many people
in the forums, latching onto common experiences and biological variations
and imbuing them with this huge significance. "I have longer canines
than anyone I know, does this mean I'm a vampire?" "I feel
this urge to bite my partner when we're having sex, does that mean I'm
a vampire?" "I'm fascinated with weird stuff, that seems really
abnormal. Am I a vampire?" There's a staggering lack of knowledge
about the median bell curve of human variation, far more about the range
of anomalies and aberrations that occur in Nature.
When you try to explain to people that what
they're describing is perfectly ordinary and well within the median
range of human experience, they often become furious with you for "making
them sound stupid." This is especially true for adolescents describing
very common feelings and experiences of their age and developmental
group (for ex. 16 year old boy, "I've gotten a lot stronger in
the last couple of years"--well, *DUH*! Can you spell, "testosterone"?),
and people describing dreams. It seems that no one knows how to interpret
their own dreams, and if you give it a crack, you're excoriated for
"telling them they're just making it all up." Well, sorry,
folks, I'm not going to tell you that your recurring dreams about being
chased or bitten by a mythological creature you're obsessively interested
in means that you're "special" and "chosen" and
you're going to be made one of them--'cause I try hard not to lie to
my correspondents. Even the rude ones.
I better stop before I start raving outright.
Needless to say, You're definitely not alone in asking whether you're
a vampire. :) However, there's no easy way to tell. How do you get rid
of those nagging doubts? You can't. At least, not easily.
You must be happy with yourself, whatever you are, and must learn to accept
yourself as you are, vampire or not, before you can shake loose any nagging
doubts about your 'inner nature'. Always check out the mundane reasons
for your "symptoms" first before jumping to the conclusion that
you're a vampire. Chances are there's a reasonable explanation, and there's
always a possibility that you could be suffering from a serious medical
disorder in need of treatment.
Vampires are not immune to illness. It is possible to be a Vampire and
have AIDS, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, a cold, the flu or any other
disease or illness. Not only that, but many of the symptoms of vampirism
are also symptoms of other known, treatable illnesses.
It is VERY important that you see your doctor when anything that concerns
you is happening with your body or mind.
However, you don't have to mention "the V-Word", just give
your doctor a list of symptoms and ask if he can run tests (A CBC - complete
blood count - Chem20/"complete metabolic" and Thyroid tests
are frequently recommended to start with) to see if there's a legitimate
medical cause. Get a copy of your labwork, and research what the results
might mean at LabTestsOnline.
(LTO contains generic information about various medical tests, not your
specific medical information.)
The other issue at hand is that not all real vampires will have the same
characteristics - everyone is affected by their genetics, environment,
stress and pressure from parents, friends and family, personal inhibitions
and "taboos", as well as personal likes and dislikes.
Never underestimate the power of physical change in adolescent development.
Everyone goes through unbelievable radical changes that last well into
the college/university years (Early 20's, generally speaking) and possibly
beyond. Additionally, allergies commonly do not show up until this time
as well. Know that changes - even seemingly drastic ones - are normal
for a teenager, including a shift in wake/sleep patterns and changes in
I cannot tell you over the Internet whether you are a vampire or not,
no matter how many details you give. There are too many variables in your
environment, medications you may or may not be taking - prescription or
otherwise, genetics and health that you may not be aware of that could
impact what you're experiencing.
If you are looking to meet someone in person, you will want to look over
the social predator traits and make sure
you don't get conned, swindled, or end up as a crime statistic in the
process. Don't be gullible, always be skeptical of a person's claims of
extraordinary abilities such as shapechanging or extremely long lifespan.
Have extensive conversations (months or longer) with them before actually
meeting them in person - predators want easy prey, not prey that's hard
to get. Read the safety file
for hints and tips.
Here is a list of some characteristics people commonly mention, and my
thoughts about each of them. What my comments are for is to remind you
that there ARE other reasons besides vampirism for many characteristics
that people mention, and if you have a valid medical condition that needs
treatment, it's easier to catch it early than to wait until it's too late.
ABOVE AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE - NO
Anyone - not just vampires - especially with an analytical mind (such
as people in the computer field or medical professionals) or people
who read a lot of material with advanced or technical vocabulary will
seem like they have a higher level of intelligence - if for no other
reason than the acquisition of a lot of knowledge and expanded vocabulary.
People with analytical minds are able to connect pieces of information
faster than those with non-analytical minds. It doesn't mean vampirism,
it just means they're faster on the uptake. :)
ANXIETY / DEPRESSION - NO
Either can have a variety of causes, from something lacking in your
body chemistry to simply having a string of bad luck. ("My teacher
hates me, my classmates hate me, my wife left me, my dog died"
etc. etc.) I am a vampire, but *I* don't suffer from anxiety or depression
as a result of being a vampire. I get work stress, family stress, pay-the-bills
stress. You know, crap that usually happens to regular folks too. :)
Some people can have clinical depression or clinical anxiety, meaning
merely that they may need some sort of medication to balance things
as a result of a biochemical imbalance somewhere in the body and/or
brain. Another cause can be brain tumors or growths - as they grow,
they put pressure on certain areas of the brain, which results in mood
changes or attitude changes that get worse as time goes on, possibly
leading to death, unless the growth is removed. Yet another cause is
endocrine imbalances, such as hypothyroid. With conventional medicine's
focus on "The T4 rules all" for diagnostics, quite often a
secondary form of hypothyroidism (NOT caused soley by malfunctioning
thyroid) goes undiagnosed for as long as twenty years, while the patient
gradually acquires a laundry list of medications for anxiety, pain,
See my Thyroid 101 article
for more details on thyroid issues.
BETTER IMMUNE SYSTEM / ACCELERATED HEALING RATE
Not necessarily a mark of vampirism - how good is your diet? :) If
you're getting a good amount of vitamins, Vitamin C in particular, there's
a logical reason right there. If people in your family rarely get sick,
chances are you probably have pretty hardy genes that give you a better-than-average
immune system. Remember the RDA for vitamin C is only 60-75mg - that's
merely the minimum required to avoid things like scurvy in someone under
IDEAL situations, certainly not when exposed to toxins like car exhaust,
second-hand cigarettes, etc. - if you're getting more than that on a
regular basis, chances are your immune system is better able to handle
various illnesses you come across.
The immune system is powered by proteins, among other things. See my
article on protein deficiency
for more details.
BITING / GROWLING DURING SEX - NO
More common than you might think, it's part of everyone's primal urges.
:) Again, not a sign of vampirism. Judging by the rather large number
of pr0n stories I turned up in a Google search with that theme, I'd
wager it's a fairly common fantasy too. More information can probably
be turned up in bondage or fetish scene resources.
DREAMING ABOUT VAMPIRES - NO
Just because you dream about vampires, does not mean you are a vampire,
nor does it mean you're being contacted in your dreams by a vampire.
Dreams are your brain's way of working through events of the day, plus
any additional things that are on your mind (job stress, family stress,
etc. etc.) and your dreams are not necessarily literal - in fact, dreams
are NORMALLY symbolic, with symbology appropriate to the dreamer. (Thus,
the best person to interpret your dreams? Is yourself.)
Keep a journal of your dreams and keep track of the events in your
life, because the symbology - what happens in your dreams - is really
only applicable to you. For example, a dream could be about things in
the bedroom or wanting to sleep - person "A" might have a
bed that's badly in need of replacement, person "B" could
simply be working too much overtime and be unable to get enough sleep.
What would that mean to you? I don't know - your dreams are based on
YOUR experiences and how YOUR mind works, therefore you are the best
person to interpret your dreams. Keeping both dream and waking diaries
enables you to pair up your symbology with what happens.
FEELINGS OF ISOLATION / PSYCHE ISSUES - NO
Everyone can feel different or alienated or "not like everyone
else" at some point - it's especially common among teenagers and
college/university students, but adults are not immune to this problem.
For example, I can get that "not like everyone else" feeling
just by walking a room of business people in suits, so that's really
not a good indicator by itself. :) It's all a matter of where your "comfort
Stop and consider what the normal ranges are, and if you're really
serious about this, have yourself tested to see where you fall in the
"average" range. You might find that what seems "above
normal" may actually BE in the normal range, especially for hearing
(since a lot of people seem to be aiming for premature deafness these
days with their music cranked up to maximum volume...)
A couple medical conditions that can cause heightened senses are autism
and denervation supersensitivity. Drugs such as ecstasy and marijuana
are also said to cause heightened senses.
Some people - not limited to vampires - just get that "special"
genetic combination that gives them, for example, a sense of taste that
makes them more sensitive to bitter compounds in foods and other ingestible
things. Lima beans, brussels sprouts and coffee are among the things
often avoided by supertasters. This often comes with a superior sense
of smell, and may also make them more sensitive to additional things
besides bitter compounds, depending on their sensitivity.
I know real vampires that couldn't smell rotten fish if you waved it
in front of them, and others that can smell that it's in the early process
of spoiling without even opening the package. If it turns out you have
heightened senses, enjoy them while they last.
See this article on supertasters
for more information.
INTEREST IN VAMPIRES SINCE A YOUNG AGE - NO
It is natural for people to be interested in anything that fascinates
them. It doesn't have to be a fascination with vampires, it could be
a passion for music, science fiction, science, bats or other nocturnal
animals, or even just digging under the ground to see what strange and
disgusting crawly things you can find. (Hey, I've done that...) Just
because you've had an interest in vampires for "a very long time"
doesn't necessarily mean you are one. It just means the subject is of
high interest to you for one reason or another.
Also keep in mind, "a long time" will be a different span
of time to someone who's over 40 than a person who's, say, 15...
INSOMNIA / CHANGES IN SLEEPING HABITS - NO
The Encarta Encyclopedia has a good summation: "Sleepiness caused
by insomnia reduces concentration and slows reaction time during waking
hours, leading to reduced productivity and accidents. One in three adults
experiences some degree of insomnia at one time or another, especially
during periods of stress. Longer-lasting cases of insomnia, called
chronic insomnia, are less common and may be caused by a number of factors
in addition to stress, including imbalances in body chemistry or other
Work third shift? Work a rotating shift? Work irregular hours? Are
you in your teens? Sleeping in a noisy neighborhood? Are there a lot
of emergency vehicles, trains and/or planes that go by in hearing range?
If you're taking medications, have you recently switched? Have you been
taking over-the-counter decongestants that do NOT have antihistamines
in them? Stress at work? Stress at home? People being a pain in your
ass? Someone close to you recently diagnosed with a major illness or
recently died? Are you a "Caffeine Achiever"? Do you take
afternoon naps? Are you in severe and/or chronic pain? Do you have thyroid
issues and take your thyroid meds in the morning?
All of these - plus likely a bunch of others I haven't listed here
- are factors notorious for causing sleep issues. See my Insomnia
Overview article for more details and tips on how to deal with it.
You can also see my page on Delayed
Sleep Phase Syndrome for understanding why people "Just Aren't
Morning People" - it's not limited to just vampires.
If you are having trouble sleeping, here's one tip, picked up from
If your legs, and particularly your feet, are cold (especially if you
have poor circulation or you've been prone to getting frostbite in the
winter), you will have a MUCH harder time getting to sleep than when
they're warm. In the winter you may need to wear thick socks to bed,
pile on the blankets or get a sleeping bag. I can vouch for the effectiveness
of this tip personally. :) If you get cold feet/legs, there's certainly
no harm in trying this tip, and a lot of sleep to be gained if that's
actually the problem.
RRITABILITY / MOOD SWINGS / EXCESSIVE RAGE
Many many many causes, most of which I won't document here - however,
they include caffeine withdrawal, not enough sleep, being bugged repeatedly
by annoying people (Anyone with kids can relate to things like "Are
we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"),
anxiety and a good deal of other addictive substances (cigarettes for
instance) have irritability just one of the symptom of withdrawal. (There's
a reason most people tend to give smokers who are trying to quit a wide
There could be many dietary triggers - Aspartame (the stuff in Equal/Nutrasweet)
can give people mood swings. The same with Sucralose/Splenda (among
many MANY other health problems.) Caffeine withdrawal can make people
cranky, as well as give you some of the worst headaches. Side effects
of medications or drugs - Prednisone, for example, is WELL known for
making patients very cranky.. Chemical imbalances in a person's body
chemistry. Stress can wear a person's patience razor thin (The old joke-on-a-button:
"I have one nerve left AND YOU'RE GETTING ON IT!" comes to
For the ladies, PMS/menopause - as well as any medications that impact
the balance of female hormones (such as birth control) - can make you
bitchy, depressed or any other unusual mood depending on your hormonal
imbalance that month. And, you ladies may not even be AWARE that it's
going on until someone actually says something, because you may not
be aware it's happening.
Mental conditions such as bipolar and schizophrenia can also result
in unsociable tendencies. Bipolar's mood swings can certainly make a
sufferer very hard to live with unless it's treated!
These are just some examples. See my personal
issues page for links to support information and checklists along
LIGHT / SUN SENSITIVITY
See my article on causes of
photosensitivity for more details. Also see my article on how
to deal with it. It IS commonly mentioned among vampires, but not
all people who are photosensitive are vampires, and not all vampires
have photosensitivity (either as a direct result of vampirism or anything
else.) Photosensitivity can happen for many reasons such as medication
side effects, genetic ancestry, migraines, etc.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES - NO
First of all, be sure that what you're experiencing is in fact a migraine.
It isn't just a 'really bad' headache. Sufferers will usually (but not
always) experience visual disturbances such as auras or blind spots
followed by an intense pain on one side of the head, usually behind
the eye. Sufferers tend to become sensitive to light, sound and feel
nauseated while the migraine is happening. (If numbness is suddenly
experienced with it, then you should be checked out to make sure you
don't also have a stroke going on too.)
While it is common for real vampires to have Really Bad Headaches from
being sensitive to sunlight and other bright lights, migraines in particular
can have a variety of causes - chocolate can set them off, strong smells,
maybe even not getting enough sleep, or a bad sleeping position (and
resultant muscle tension), for example. It all depends on the person,
but each individual's triggers tend to remain the same for most of their
If you wear strong prescription lenses, having enough scratches on
one or both of the lenses (or even a prescription that's just a little
"off", or glasses that don't sit properly after being broken,
etc.) can give you headaches even if you aren't aware that the scratches
are there (or that the prescription isn't quite right). You may need
to clean your glasses with liquid soap, then rotate them at many angles
under bright light to tell if you have the scratches I'm referring to.
A "lens pencil" may make them more bearable, but if you have
too many scratches or eyes that are too sensitive to the problem, the
only solution is to get new/replacement lenses.
PALE SKIN - NO
No, this is not a symptom, sign or cause. :P Skin can become more pale
by avoiding sunlight, the same reason many people's tans fade in the
winter. Skin can be naturally pale if you are born that way, such as
if you have ancestry from regions of the world that are closer to the
poles, and stay pale if you don't make any effort to get a tan, or your
body doesn't have "the tanning gene". In other words, while
vampires MAY tend to be pale, it doesn't mean ALL vampires are pale,
and it doesn't mean all persons who are pale are vampires. Personally,
I consider pale skin a good thing because it means less sun-induced
visual aging later on in life. That hole in the ozone layer isn't going
away anytime soon...
You do not have to be vampiric to have psychic abilities - many people
with psychic abilities are not vampires at all, never have been, and
never will be. Someone with the empathic projection ability can calm
people down, make them upset, or just give people headaches if they're
uncontrolled. Any psychic can sense energy, either they're born with
the knack for it, or they learned it either on their own or from someone
else teaching them. It is possible even to learn how to "drain
energy", something usually considered a psivamp trait. The key
difference here is a psivamp needs the energy, and it will also happen
by instinct - they're not just draining it as a conscious choice.
Another thing to consider: A good student of body language will seem
to "read" people, but this won't necessarily even be psychic.
Body language is a completely mundane thing - this is just a skill,
the same as riding a bicycle is a skill. You can be self-taught or you
can learn it through more formal methods. Having empathy AND knowing
how to read body language becomes a potent combination in any situation.
SENSITIVITY TO CERTAIN
METALS / JEWELRY - NO
Some people have metal allergies, in which their skin reacts to certain
type(s) of metals. Sometimes coating the item with clear nail polish
will help, but sometimes it won't if the person is sensitive enough,
or if the nail polish gets worn off. This usually makes it's appearance
when a person is wearing a piece of jewelry with the offending metal(s)
in it. Also, while it's not common, I have run across one or two people
who can't wear ANY metals next to their skin at all - even gold, which
is generally considered non-reactive - either due to allergy, or a reaction
between their sweat and the metal.
Usually, gold or some other non-reactive metal is the best solution,
but be aware the quality of the "pure gold" will vary - it
may be a pure gold coating on a nickel-metallic base, which means once
the gold coating gets worn off, you're back to getting a rash again.
SHARP / POINTY TEETH
Just because you have sharp/pointy teeth - or fangs - does NOT mean
you're a vampire. It just means you got the lucky end of the gene pool
and are already set for Halloween. Just put this in the category of
"mild medical abnormalities". Sure, it may be cool to have
pointy teeth, but I've seen a lot of people with pointy teeth who are
most definitely NOT vampires.
Also, some people get prosthetic fangs which may or may not be permanent.
Whether they admit they're prosthetics is entirely up to them....
STOMACH TROUBLES / FOOD
ALLERGIES - NO
See my article on stomach trouble
for more information. Also see the newer article on food
Did you know protein deficiency can also cause stomach issues? See
my article on protein deficiency
for more information.
THIRST, EXCESSIVE / UNUSUAL
Get yourself checked out for things like diabetes. Being "always
thirsty" is one of the symptoms of diabetes, and may be a symptom
of a variety of other diseases and any major disease is no laughing
UNIDENTIFIABLE / BLOOD CRAVINGS - NO
This can happen to anyone, real vampire or not - some medical disorders
can give an apparent blood craving (Pica or certain types of anemia,
for instance), and nutritional deficiencies can also cause specific
cravings as the body attempts to right the imbalance - but it doesn't
always have to be a craving for blood specifically. Pica is a result
of vitamin deficiency, the affected person will try to eat many things
that they wouldn't normally eat, including lead paint, in a vain effort
to try to get more of the nutrients they're lacking. Again, if this
is severely out of the norm for you, then have your doctor run some
tests to see if there's anything medically trackable.
If you've made it to here, congratulations on having the
patience to finish the article! :)
SO WHAT ARE THE SHARED CHARACTERISTICS?
Other than the need to feed, characteristics - and coping ability -
will vary from person to person. As a result it's VERY hard to come
up with a definitive list that applies to everyone. The line between
determining whether it is an addiction or fetish, or whether it's a
genuine need is often blurred when you're trying to determine it for
yourself - this takes careful self examination to be absolutely certain.
Please note that I am not saying anyone with
any these characteristics cannot be a vampire, or is always a vampire.
Only that there are other reasons besides vampirism for a person experiencing
a particular symptom or set of symptoms.
Do get yourself checked out to make sure you are otherwise healthy.
The 'symptoms' of each person's vampirism will vary from individual
to individual, and the degree to which a person is affected by a particular
characteristic or symptom is based on their genetics, immune system
and mental outlook on life.
You must be happy with yourself, no matter what you decide. Vampirism
will not improve your life, win friends and make you successful. No
battle was ever run by continually running away from it. You must be
happy with yourself, whatever you are, and must learn to accept yourself
as you are, vampire or not.
This article is presented as part of an ongoing
effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online
vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this
article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily
be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update
or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most
importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or
any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use
your own reasoning and judgment.