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Sybil Exposed

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stilllovinghim posted 10/23/2011 05:40 AM

Saw this as a book rec on NPR's website. It's by Debra Nathan and it attempts to claim the famous story of Sybil and her MPD diagnosis was largely fabricated and claims the psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur, abused her power and helped create the identities under false memories and suggestion.

Anyone read this? I'm very interested in reading this book and I don't mind a *spolier*.

Skye posted 10/23/2011 09:33 AM

haven't read it but did hear about the rec on NPR, also. not sure i will read it. wondered how true this story is. we do hear so much about multiple personalities that i can't help but believe if there was some falseness to the story there was also some truths since this seems to be a real diagnosis.

slight t/j but my husband tried to explain to his therapist that he wasn't himself when he cheated. no, he doesn't have multiple personalities, but the man who did cheat was never seen to me for 35 years before and 12 years after so, who knows what our psyches can do.

Fighting2Survive posted 10/23/2011 10:58 AM

I haven't read the book, but the statements that the doctor manipulated "Sybil" and exaggerated her illness for the sake of the book aren't new.

Based on the critical assessments and clinical observations I've read over the years, it does seem very likely that the doctor was not ethical in her treatment of Sybil and did present an inaccurate account of her case.

heart_in_a_blend posted 10/23/2011 11:05 AM

I liked the movie.

BaxtersBFF posted 10/23/2011 14:28 PM

The Science Friday episode on 10/21 re: Sybil was interesting. There are many shrinks who say DID has been disproven. Then a Dr. who knew Dr. Wilbur and Sybil called in and blasted the author on Science Friday. Lots of controversy going on with that book.

Clarrissa posted 11/5/2011 20:03 PM

I've read the book and saw the movie. "Sybil" was a pseudonym for Dr. Wilbur's patient to protect her real identity.

DID (or MPD) is an actual diagnosis from what I've heard. Some of those affected have been tested in their different personalities and there have been striking differences among them, up to and including different "native" languages, handwriting and IQ.

I don't know if Sybil was "created" or fabricated but there is one (who prefers to remain completely out of the spotlight) that was from the area I live and was treated in town. The book is The Minds of Billy Milligan (yes, that's his real name). Dr. Wilbur was peripherally involved in his case since she was the acknowledged "expert" in MPD. However, his case doesn't have the "happy ending" that Sybil's did. He was never fully integrated.

If you're interested in this kind of book, slhim, another one you may be interested in is called When Rabbit Screams. Also about an MPD patient but one who *chose* not to even try integration. It was written by The Troops For Trudy Chase (Yes that's the "author") and it gives and "inside" view of a MPD, written from their perspective.

stilllovinghim posted 11/6/2011 00:52 AM

Yay Clarissa! I read "When Rabbit Howls" years and years ago & that book was crazy-amazing...
Cramazing! !!!
Weird that you metioned it.

I'm not saying I don't believe MPD isn't real. It's a very interesting subject to me. Regardless if most or part or all of Sybil was completly fabricated, the woman who came into Dr Wilbur's office that fateful day definitely had some serious psychological problems.

Maybe Santa will put this book in my stocking this year along with a couple other books I've been wanting to read. Hell, maybe Santa should just give me books for christmas, guess i'll have to get a rectangular stocking! (Just kidding Santa! I heart books but I also heart shiny things too!)
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