A term I believe was coined by Anton Le Vey, author of "the Satanic Bible". It is used to describe people who feed off of other people emotionally. The Satanic Bible points out how when you must constantly endure the verbal self pity of others in their attempt to induce your sympathies for them, you begin to feel tired and depressed.

Another source..a FAQ on *spit* Vampires, floating around somewhere on the internet had a bit more of a dramatic view of things. They try to make psychic vampires "Magical Creatures" and even go as far as making them into evil spirits. I think thats a rather moronic view. Chronic whiners are not magical. Here is an excerpt:

"A psychic vampire is a living person who "drains" others emotionally.
Depending on the version, this may be an empathic drain (i.e., literally feeding on the emotions or 'life-force' of others) or it may be a metaphorical drain (someone who "takes" emotionally without giving anything back; a "user"). The victims of a psychic vampire become lethargic and depressed, and, should they be drained too much, may become suicidal.
The psychic vampire itself is generally represented as fairly normal except for its ability; depending on who you ask, psychic vampires may or may not be aware of what they do, and along the same line, they may feed in different ways. It has been described by some as reaching out with your astral self to tap into a living person and draining them of their energy and then transforming, or processing, that gained energy into life force of some sort. Others say that they reach out with their aura and leech away energy from the auras of other people. Like many things, it depends on who you talk to and what their experiences have been. There is no way of telling who is right and who is wrong, and there is the possibility that all of them are right and they merely feed in different ways."

If you pick out the crap, it has some valid points.
psychic vampires, or psy-vamps as they are more often called, are indeed real and in some cases fairly dangerous. most vamps do it unintentionally, completely unaware they have the ability. but there are some who actively vamp. these are the dangerous ones.

if you're in the presence of a psy-vamp, and they are draining you, you will start to feel tired or sleepy or run down. you know how sometimes you can walk into a room with good company, friends, wonderful conversation, and you just feel BETTER, alive somehow and energized just from the energy there? psy-vamps get these feelings and this "recharge" from preying on people. and if they target you you'll experience the opposite.

some people, when feeling weary or run down will automatically and unconsciously go out 'seeking' a good charge, and upon finding one put out psychic feeders to tap. others intentinally tap because they need the energy and don't know how to recharge otherwise. and some do it because they relish the feeling of that kind of power over others. (karma will usually kick you in the ass for the latter two.)

there are various ways to protect yourself from vamps. the first and easiest is actually out of folklore, but as a large amount of lore does, actually works. fold your hands together, like in a double fist. but extend your first fingers and thumbs. touch the points of each together, first to first, thumb to thumb, kinda like you're making a "finger gun". but then open up the space between your thumbs, so your fingers form a triangle, kinda like this:
/ \ first fingers
- - thumbs.
casually rest this in your lap or on a knee, pointing the first fingers out towards the room. (legend also has it this defends against the "Evil eye". the second way is more complicated, and is only recommended for those who already work with energy. basically, just increase your personal shielding, and put an additional level in just for vamps.

mostly, just be careful, pay attention. and if you find you always feel drained after being around a certain person, it's highly likely they're vamping on you. either set up defenses against them or avoid their presence.

On a purely psychological level, providing emotional support to someone will eventually mentally wear you out, as will being around people who are expressing negative emotions, as those emotions will tend to affect your own. Conversely, anyone who walks into a room-full of happy energetic friends usually can't help but perk up a little themselves.

Concerning the metaphysical level, there is a not uncommon belief among several religions and systems of magick that there exists an energy that arises from all living things; also, that this energy can be manipulated and exchanged in a variety of ways, and it is likely that there are at least some individuals who do so without realizing it. What follows is a very broad summary of said beliefs in the spirit of anthropological study, accumulated by talking with various people over the years; in reality the details may vary widely from person to person.

Energy exchange can take place in a number of situations and in varying volumes. Sometimes, when providing emotional support to someone, the energies of both will mingle a little, and the supporter might donate small amounts of it. This is normal and natural, especially if there is physical contact. A person under severe emotional stress may unconsciously seek to take in energy because they need it to maintain psychological/emotional/spiritual stability. Generally, if they don't realize what they're doing, they will not take more than they need, and even that amount is too small to be truly dangerous to the donor. Low energy levels get dangerous when they affect one's normal functioning, just like physical or emotional fatigue. Theoretically it should be possible for someone to die as a result of having too much of their energy drained.

Psy-vamps take more energy than they need and/or take it even when they don't need it, and there seems to be one primary reason: the taste and feel of that life energy in sufficient quantities is apparently quite intoxicating. No physical form of sustenance can hold a candle to it, the closest conglomerate description I can make is is to tell you to imagine drinking sunlight, nice calm soaking up of that energy... now imagine something ten times that potent, and taking it in ten times as fast, only now there is a beating heart behind it, and it's so alive and full of colors and nuances and flavors that you can't get from sunlight, flooding into you in a torrent. People claim it's addictive.

And once that's over, once they come down off that high, some believe that a craving sets in. They describe a lust that sits inside, coloring everything they see, so that everyone - even the people they love - becomes a target, a potential source of that energy. They are addicted to a powerful drug but there are no limitations on where it can be found or how much they can have, because it's all around them, free for the taking, and their victims will be left only with a touch of fatigue, or a bit of a headache, if that - because the vamp is only taking a little, right? Just a taste? Some people do this for fun. They think that because they are capable of doing it, they have a right to do it.

Most people who believe in manipulatable life energy think that vampirism can be defended against, using techniques commonly referred to as "shielding". If you suspect that someone is feeding from you, it is generally suggested that you move as far away from them as physically possible. If you can't get away from them, then at the very least don't stand close to them and don't let them touch you (touch facilitates energy exchanges of all kinds).

Again, in the spirit of anthropological study, I've noticed that most people who hold these beliefs tend to be young - roughly teenaged through early twenties; those who are older tend to have these beliefs within the broader spectrum of neo-paganism. What used to be something rarely mentioned on the web over a decade ago has now become a common presence - there are even support groups. It's also strongly associated with otherkin. I suspect that the younger set represents a majority of the people who believe in psy-vamps because this gives them a way to feel unique and special before they have solidified their own personal identities.

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