Here Is The Unbelievable Yet True Story Of Sybil Dorsett, A Survivor Of Terrible Childhood Abuse Who As An Adult Was A Victim Of Sudden And Mysterious Blackouts What Happened During Those Blackouts Has Made Sybil S Experience One Of The Most Famous Psychological Cases In The World Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber 1985 1363 308 1364 1365 1369 1376 9649124840 1384 358 1395 320 9789649134840 20 1974 This book is one of the most disgusting books ever written For all of you about to read this book, thinking it s a true story, please read the following This book was the brainchild of three women Cornelia Wilbur, Shirley Mason, and Flora Schreiber Shirley, or Sybil as she s known, did not suffer from DID She actually had Pernicious Anemia Extensive research has been done on Sybil s case, and it has been proven that the entire book was fictious.Shirley developed all of her personalities after working with Dr Wilbur In fact, when talking to another theripest, Shirley asked if he wanted her to act like Marcia, and when he said no, she said, Oh, Connie is always telling me to act like Peggy or Tim, or It is not entirely Dr Wilburs fault however Flora was doubting SHirley s story, and to make her stay with the project, Shirley gave her a journal from 1941, with proof that she had been switching personalities before meeting Connie It was later proven to be written in 1945, because Shirley said she had been reading a book not published in 1941, and the journal was written in ballpointwhich didn t exist in 1941.Instead of reading Sybil, read Sybil Exposed It s the true story, of the three womens lives, and is factual and much interesting. I had to read this in high school for my Psychology class I d never heard of Sybil or multiple personalities I was so skeptical about all of it that when I read the book I had a hard time stopping with the class We weren t allowed to read ahead and I was chomping at the bit to read the ending Great book and side note the movie is just as good Sally Field was superb in it. As a YA librarian I get tons upon tons of requests for A Child Called It, a fantastically horrible memoir about a childhood spent living with an abusive mother I frequently get questions from other librarians that go something like why do teens like to read that junk Well, it wasn t that long ago that adults all over the country were caught up in Sybil, a book that is the grandfather of the tragic childhood memoir.When Sybil came to Dr Wilbur for analysis, there wasn t a lot of material on multiple personalities now called dissociative identity disorder Part of the way through the process of analysis, the doctor invited a writer to come and document the case since it was both rare and scarcely written about in the literature The result is this book.Schreiber does a so so job of elucidating the psychoanalytic process between Wilber and Sybil for the reader You get to hear about the details of Sybil s childhood including some pretty nasty bits about her abusive mother and absent father Meeting all sixteen of her personalities and learning about the doctor s various hypotheses about their emergence is pretty interesting too However the process of Sybil s integration will seem dated to today s reader Dr Wilbur s has a Freudian approach to psychoanalysis, which finds her focusing mostly on events in Sybil s childhood that she comes to believe are responsible for personality splits that began as early as age 2 1 2 Finally, it s only with hypnosis that the doctor is able to achieve any semblance of integration.One of the weirdest aspects of the book are the passages in which the author refers to herself in the third person During the course of writing the book, Schreiber, like Dr Wilber, became friendly with her subject While it s probably natural to become close to a subject during the course of what were probably intense interviews, it does through a certain light on the written material presented in the book I would recommend this book to people with a penchant for reading memoirs or for those that like to read about abnormal psychology As a case study, Sybil remains one of the most controversial written accounts It will probably remain controversial, as it is unlikely that her psychiatric files will be released and, I think, people will always be reluctant to believe that parents are capable of doing great harm to their own children if so inclined. This was a very fascinating and at times very disturbing book I probably would have given it 4 stars, but I made the mistake of looking up details about this woman online prior to finishing the book which really changed my feelings about the actual author and doctor involved Apparently this woman s story is very controversial in the mental health field Had I known that, I would have finished the book prior to looking up details online on this under spoiler , and I would suggest that if you read this book, don t look up stuff online until you finish it SPOILER Ok, this spoiler isn t really about things in the book itself, but about the book s publication Apparently it s not really clear if this woman actually had multiple personalities Supposedly another doctor was asked if he wanted to be involved in this book, and he said no because he did not consider Sybil a multiple personality he thought Sybil s main doctor led Sybil to believe she had multiple personalities The author supposedly stated that the publisher wanted a book about a multiple personality, so they had to write it that way Regardless of what is true, it really changed my perception of the book What started out as fascinating to me suddenly looked like it was exploiting this poor, sick woman It s even in the book that Sybil s main doctor introduces her to the author, and it seems like they wanted to write a book about Sybil before they even consulted her By the end, I just felt like the doctor and author were trying to make a quick buck off of Sybil which was really sad because she trusted them the profits of the book were apparently split three ways amongst the doctor, author and patient In addition, the book has a happy ending finish, but that s not really how things turned out although, in defense of the author, things may have been really good when the book was published Sybil lived about another 25 years, so the sadder things I read about her may have occurred after the book came out. 10 8 I have been wanting to read this for nearly two decades, since I first heard about the case when I was 12 or 13 In those intervening 18 years I ve seen the Sally Field movie and learned the truth behind this story, but I m still fascinated by the idea of true DID and even if I have to treat it as a fictional account of DID I m excited to start reading it tonight To be continuedLater The fraudulent nature of this book aside, the writing is annoying the hell out of me it s way too flowery In the preface Schreiber talks about her other publications, most of which are psychiatry journal articles and the like , and it s plain to see that this was her first full length novel She knows she needs to engage the reading public, who aren t her normal audience of fellow doctors, and she knows she can t do that with the dry language of a medical journal Unfortunately she goes way too far in her attempt to not be dry Sentences likeThe key to room 1113 was the engine that drove her, the motor on which her panic turned and She was ready to go wherever the bus would take her, anywhere, everywhere, world beyond, world without end anywhere smack of trying too hard I mean what on earth doesworld beyond, world without endmean in he context of the situation Sybil has found herself in she s woken up in an unknown city with no idea how she got there, she walks for ages through deserted streets till finally finding a bus which she gets on figuring it ll take her towards civilisation I can suspend my sense of injustice at what the patient was coerced into believing, but I m not sure I can suspend my annoyance with the writing at the same time.As I said before, I ve wanted to read this for ages and it s a gigantic disappointment to be feeling this negatively verbose only nine pages in not counting numerous pages of preface I feel like this is where Multiple Personality Disorder, now Dissociative Identity Disorder, became known to the wider public Despite being revealed to be fake this book brought a real, though in truth very rare, disorder out of the stuff of myths and legends, something of a silver lining in that despite none of this book being true, the disorder was no longer completely unheard of for real suffers To be continued12 8 On page 45 Why do we care that her bra is tiny And if there s a good reason for knowing this inconsequential fact, why isn t it followed up with information relating to the size of her bra I don t know, I just found the fact that Schreiber took the time to comment on such a silly little thing strange.13 8 This book seems to have a DID of its own The first chapter was the immature child who tried too hard for affection using stupid, nonsensical, flowery phrases in a medical true story, pseudo or not, doesn t endear the reading public , but from the second chapter on where Schreiber begins to detail Sybil s experience with Dr Wilbur from the beginning we ve been reading from a much assured and confident writer.The idea that you could experience an emotional moment at the funeral of a loved one, and then wake up at school two years later is terrifying I can t imagine what that would have been like for a sufferer who actually went through something similar I don t know how anyone could go through that alone without any understanding of what was happening, without believing that they had truly gone crazy To be continued14 8 The atrocities that are described here, that were perpetrated on Sybil, are beyond belief, beyond my imagining The description of the cold water enema was very disturbing If you haven t got a strong tolerance for unsanitised descriptions of extreme child and I mean toddler abuse there are a couple of chapters you should definitely skip 14 and 15 will not be good for your mental health All I can say is I hope to God Wilbur didn t hypnotise Sybil into believing this happened to her if indeed, none of this story is true The thought that a patient might be given these memories because the doctor didn t know what she was doing and was over eager at the possibility of discovering a modern sufferer of DID, makes me sick.Every time Schreiber writes about what Dr Wilbur was thinking after a session with Sybil I can clearly hear Wilbur s excitement at exploring the personalities, being successful in her treatment of Sybil, becoming world famous as the psychoanalyst who cured the most extreme case of DID ever documented Every time I imagine her I see her eyes with dollar signs spinning in them, like in the cartoons I don t see her as doing any of this altruistically despite her claim of feeling like a friend towards Sybil during their trip to the country , she just wants to publish journal articles on the fascinating case of Sybil. I read this at 17, doing work training at aa psychiatric hospital and imagining that I had found out what I wanted to do I liked the book fine although I struggled with the narrative One thing I had issues with was that Sybild, being obviously severely so disturbed, could pose as quite balanced and normal in her everyday life The was certainly not what I saw in the patients I met and interacted with every day At about half the book I made the mistake of asking a professor about it and he told me that the account of the book was not true This kind of brought the second half down a notch I did follow this one up with When Rabbit Howls , however, noting that Truddi Chas was up to 92 personalities from Sybil s 16, I had a nagging feeling that the would either topped by someone with a few hundred or be discredited at some point A nasty piece of work What s worse is it s a fraud Sibyl s doctor manipulated her with drug dependency and emotional blackmail into agreeing with the doctor s pet theories about multiple personalities, which had catastrophic effects on psychology for decades.It s like reading a transcript of a witch trial confession.This book does a serious disservice to abuse victims. Sometimes when my kids are really pushing my buttons, I remind them if they don t want the mean mommy to make an appearance they had better knock it off And to be sure, the mean mommy, the one who loses her composure and who feels as if she could literally pull her hair out, is far removed from the the loving and patient mommy I identify with, the mommy who also happens to be fascinated by the science of brain and behavior and the origin and experience of consciousness.So this true story which happens to read a little too much like fiction for my tastes of a woman who possessed sixteen personalities was at the very least intriguing.Interestingly, I chose to read this in prep for reading Sybil Exposed, the book that suggests the real Sybil and the doctor who treated her is was a fraud.I should add that I ve read a lot on the topic of brain science and some on the condition once known as multiple personality disorder but since renamed dissociative identity disorder and much of this book seemed in line with consistent with what I ve read in other scientific and less sensationalized sources.I think the mode of storytelling chosen and the hype that surrounded the story leaves itself wide open to criticism for obvious reasons, so I ll be interested to see what evidence is revealed in Sybil Exposed.
Flora Rheta Schreiber April 24, 1918 November 3, 1988 , an American journalist, was the author of the 1973 bestseller Sybil, the story of a woman identified years later as Shirley Ardell Mason who suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
- Mass Market Paperback
- 481 pages
- Flora Rheta Schreiber
- 23 March 2018 Flora Rheta Schreiber