Example 1 – Sybil Movie Questions
Various triggers that caused Sybil’s personalities to appear were the women with white hair, the sound of the swings, and the loud music from the piano. These things had triggered her personality because they reminded her of painful memories from the past.
2. Sybil exhibited odd behaviours like talking to herself and doing things that she does not remember doing. For example, Sybil woke up to her apartment trashed and did not remember trashing it.
3. Sybil’s blackouts can last from 30 minutes to longer periods of times, Sybil would often change personalities and stated that she would blackout for a year (change personalities) before returning to herself.
4. Sybil is afraid of the drawing because she did not recall drawing it and because it represented her painful past.
5. Sybil talks and acts like a little girl because it is one of her several personalities.
6. Sybil always looks at her watch because she loses track of time due to her blackouts.
7. Dr. Wilbur says That Sybil blacks out because she is afraid to face her fears.
8. Sybil’s father does not want her to see doctor Wilbur because he is very religious and believes that people who need to see a doctor are “a freak of nature”. Sybil’s father does not want to face the realities of Sybil.
9. Peggy is nine years old and relived the memory of when her parents had taken her to the doctor.
10. ) Dr. Wilbur is going to use hypnosis on Sybil.
11. Vicky is one of Sybil’s personalities and is an elegant French girl that helps Sybil to become confident.
On the other hand, Marsha is Sybil’s dark side that is very suicidal and lives in fear.
13. Yes, Vicky believes that she and the others are separate people from Sybil. She explains to Or. Wilbur while they were conversing that it was only the two in the room.
14. In Sybirs dream, she finds a box of kittens and tries to take them somewhere safe until a beheaded cat starts chasing her. 15. N/A
16. Sybil cannot see because she is thinking back to the time When her mother used to tie her face and hands with a dish towel leaving her visionless.
17. Sybil refers to her mom as “the people”.
18. ) Sybil dissociates from a baby when she hears her mother’s voice.
20. Wilbur is going to use hypnosis to bring out Sybil’s personalities.
21. “The purple” is the colour of Sybil’s anger,
22. Sybil’s mother abused her by kicking her, tripping her, putting her into a box, and by tying her up.
23. Sybil might have had a predisposition for psychopathology because her mother had a mental illness.
24. Sybil’s suicide attempt was handled very well by Or. Wilbur and Richard. Richard stop her from jumping by talking to “Marsha” and connected with her other personality.
25. Sybil claimed that she was faking the multiple personalities because she was in denial and was afraid of losing the hope that she might get better.
26. Dr. Wilbur finds out all the injuries that Sybil has had as a child from Sybil\’s old doctor. She finds out that Sybil had many injuries like broken bones, bruises, and also finds out that Sybil was unable to have kids.
27. The green kitchen was where Sybil’s other had tortured her. Sybil’s mother used to tie Sybil’s legs to the chandelier and pour water into her vaginal canal, making her hold it in.
28. Sybirs mother spoiled her love of music by playing the piano after she had tortured Sybil.
29. The movie depicts the fusion Of the personalities When Sybil is in the field surrounded by trees where each of Sybil’s personalities are standing. The fusion happens when Sybil acknowledges each and every one of her personalities.
Example 2 – Sybil Reaction Paper
The stony of Sybil transcends the imaginable possibilities of reality and tragedy that may befall any existent human being, Sybil was a pseudonym used to cover the identity of Shirley Mason, a bright commercial artist who sought professional help from Dr. Cornelia Wilbur after having occasional blackouts and distorted time lapses. Nearly half of her life was spent in psychotherapy with Or.
Wilbur and an author, Flora Schreiber, documented the case. Raised by a mother suffering from schizophrenia, Sybil was subject to a sexual and sadistic bringing, Her father’s apathy and blind devotion to religion also played a huge part in the worsening of the symptoms manifested by little Sybil and Hattie, her mother. Clearly, this illustrates the ripple effect of how faulty parenting facilitates unhealthy psychological and emotional development for children.
In a broader sense, the account of Sybil speaks of how constant denial of affect and truth warps the whole experience of life and the succeeding It may be referred to as a snowball effect that gets bigger when left unattended on its own as if problems solve the problems themselves. However, all these reactions are only valid if media accounts – movie production and written literature – are fairly accurate, supported by corporeal and scientific evidence. Are they?
The extraordinary strife of Sybil has sparked several debates and controversies in the discipline of psychology and psychiatry, Was it all but an excellent performance of charade for phantom personalities in order to warrant money and clinical interest?
Did Sybil receive the appropriate diagnosis she deserved for the treatment of her problems? Were the sixteen purportedly existing personalities really true or were they just made up and labelled during hypnosis? Really? Apparently, however, no questions arc: necessary to point our the tact that a number of ethical guidelines and principles have been violated during Sybil’s treatment.
There has been an observed transference in the part of Dr. Wilbur when she wished for and assumed the role of being Sybil’s mother in order to prevent Sybil from suffering such. Also, a therapeutic atmosphere was not properly set up since most of their sessions are held in an apartment which may have hampered the clinical intervention in this case Many other violations can be derived in the portrayal in the film which all the more triggered doubts of the story being a hoax. Adding up to gravity is its growing popularity in the general public.
As evidence. it was found out that during the first four years upon release, the book was a hit, selling six million copies. Diagnoses of Multiple Personality Syndrome went from 200 worldwide to thousands of new cases each year. It was the disease of the day, trendy and new and flashy Alarming, isn’t it? perhaps, watching an award-winning movie with blockbuster stars could easily warrant an average viewer to believe and he hooked. However, by verifying facts and doing researches, points of contention may surface and make you question.
Example 3 – The Portrayal of the Multiple Personalities Disorder in Sybil
Sybil is a movie made in 1976, based on a true story, about a girl living with multiple personality disorder. Sybil has sixteen different personalities that each come out at different points throughout the movie depending on what she is going through. For example, when Sybil is angry, Peggy Lou comes out and expresses the anger that Sybil herself cannot. When the different personalities show, Sybil thinks she is experiencing blackouts because she remembers nothing for certain periods of time.
She will come back to paintings she started finished or an entire meal cooked and have no recollection of doing these things. One of Sybil’s professors notices she is strange acting at times and sends her to a psychiatrist, Dr. Wilber. Dr. Wilber diagnoses Sybil with multiple personality disorders as a result of extreme abuse from her mother as a child.
This movie is very good at showing how physical and psychological abuse can affect people for their entire lives. In Sybil, she uses each of her personalities to deal with the emotions that she is unable to every day. Sybil herself blocked out any memory of her mother abusing her as a child and denies that her mother would ever do such a thing.
It is her other personality that remembers everything and has to deal with the trauma. Sybil shows the daily struggle of someone dealing with a psychological disorder and how it can completely alter a person’s life. She cannot even maintain a normal relationship because her disorder has taken over her life.
Multiple personality disorder is when there is more than one personality inside one person and it is also a dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorders are defined as disruptions in a person’s memory, consciousness, or identity. In Sybil’s case, there are disruptions in all three. Sybil is the “host” personality and her sixteen other alternate personalities have different experiences, traits, and memories than her. In the movie Sybil, it seems that her personality switches under feelings of stress or anxiety.
This common in dissociative disorders because the host is trying to block out those feelings that bring back the memories of trauma and project them somewhere else. A fight between two of Sybil’s personalities is what prompts her to give Dr. Wilber a chance. Sybil’s father always taught her not to trust doctors because they will just try to hypnotize her and give her medications. Once Dr. Wilber starts talking to Sybil she realizes Sybil is hard to get information out of, but some of her other personalities are not.
Dr. Wilber concludes that stress is what causes these changes in personality when Sybil tells her that she blacked out when her grandmother died, which is a huge stress, and woke up two years older. Dr. Wilber eventually ends up taking Sybil back to her home, hypnotizing her and all her personalities finally come together.
While watching Sybil, I found the depiction of the psychological concept to be very accurate. Although multiple personality disorder is not a common disorder that you meet people with every day, it is still a major disorder that mental, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse can form. This movie is an excellent example of how childhood trauma can stay with a person throughout their entire life.
At the end of the movie, Dr. Wilber meets with Sybil’s childhood pediatrician and she confirms the clear evidence of abuse Sybil showed from her mother and that her mother was always fidgety and nervous acing at the doctors. Sybil made me realize how hidden disorders can be and you never know what other people are going through. If you think about it, Sybil grew up being abused so badly by her mother and no one ever helped her.
All the trauma she endured her whole life could have been stopped and she would not have needed to create these alternate versions of herself to help her deal with her experiences if someone would have helped her earlier on in life.
In the movie Sybil, Sybil has multiple personality disorder. This means that she has a rare disorder in which two or more distinct and different personalities live within one person.
Multiple personality disorder is often caused by physical and sexual abuse in children (NAMI, 1996). Sybil created an escape and defence from the abuse she suffered. Different personalities were created to help her with everyday problems; this is called dissociation.
Healing from this illness is a very long, hard process. A therapist has to earn a close relationship with the patient and as many of the alter personalities as possible. Eventually, after working with a therapist for a while, a patient can learn to start dealing with everyday problems without using alter personalities.
Sybil has many different personalities in the movie. Her main personality is a sweet, quiet, confused substitute teacher. At first, she has no idea of her condition. Sybil just thinks she is she is losing time or blacking out. Another personality is Peggy, an enchanting little girl. She turns into Peggy when she is scared or hurt. Also, there is Marsha, a mean, miserable person who has suicidal problems.
When Sybil gets depressed or upset she turns to this alter personality. A personality that Sybil uses is Vicci. Vicci is very conservative and lively. She is a headstrong thirteen-year-old that is not scared to take risks and have fun with people. Sybil goes to Vicci when is in doubt or too timid to be in a social gathering.
Another of Sybil’s alter personalities is Vanessa. She is a young, beautiful girl who plays the piano. Vanessa comes out when Sybil feels bad or is put down by the real world. Sybils therapist contacted all of the alter personalities. All of these personalities came into effect at a time when Sybil couldn’t or thought she couldn’t handle a situation. In doing this, she was using dissociation as an escape or defence for problems in the past or present (NAMI, 1996).
Multiple personality disorder is very much a result of physical or sexual abuse. This abuse usually comes from a family member or a close friend. The victim usually has a love-hate relationship with the abuser (Wilbur, 1984). In Sybil’s case, the abuser was her mother and both physical and sexual abuse was inflicted on her. Later in life, Sybil ended up with symptoms like depression, mood swings, suicidal tendencies, blackouts, headaches, panic attacks, and hallucinations (NAMI, 1994). These are all symptoms of multiple personality disorder.
Sybil thought she was blacking out, fell and hurt herself, when in actuality she was having a multiple personality disorder episode, got angry and hit a window. After the accident, she was a little bit confused. The doctor brought in a therapist to see her and noticed amnesia and personality changes in Sybil. These are obvious signs of multiple personality disorder (Coon, 1984). At this time Sybil realizes the problem she has. These are examples of how people who have this disorder could become aware of the problem.
The healing process for this disease is a very long and drawn-out process. This process sometimes takes so long and is so mind consuming and stressful than the patient ends up depressed or suicidal (Coon, 1984). A therapist has to become very close to the patient and all the alter personalities. In Sybil’s case, her therapist did a very good job of this, but the hard part was to get Sybil to confront the abuse from the past. If the therapist can get at least one of the personalities to remember the traumatic events that occurred, then it is progress.
Eventually, Sybil’s therapist worked with her enough and Sybil confronted her memories. After she went back in her brain to the trauma and faced it, she realized that it was all in the past and no one could hurt her anymore. After this kind of observation from a therapist, they can usually go on in life without having to turn to any alter personalities. Sybil was very lucky in her case.
In some cases, the patient can never recover. Some other patients can recover, but it can take many more years than it did in Sybil’s case. At the end of the grieving process, creative energy is released. The survivor can reclaim self-worth and personal power and rebuild their life after so much focus and healing.
In conclusion, people with multiple personality disorder are very courageous, intelligent, creative, socially skilled, talented people whose dissociative abilities allowed them to survive traumatic abuse.
Example 5 – Sybil Movie Analysis
The Sybil movie demonstrates the life of a young student graduate (Shirley Mason) who is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder due to the psychological trauma that she suffered while young. The multiple disorder is believed to emanate from the severe child abuse that she went through which later developed into 16 different personality traits in her immune system.
Moreover, the Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) causative trauma involves physical and sexual abuses as well as emotional disturbances. Loss of an important friend or family member is also a developing factor for DID. It is argued to worsen as a result of painful memories, which are stressful in nature and are being thought of on a daily basis. Sybil’s parents were always violent and negligent, an act that left an unforgettable past memory in her mind, tearing her mind into several pieces which are different to isolate the pain.
One of the symptoms which are evident from the disorder that Sybil suffered from is auditory hallucinations. It is believed that the disorder affected Sybil’s auditory nerves making her have some hearing problems. She also showed a weird reaction towards unexplainable phobias such as purple colour. Her disorder extremely begun from child abuse and trauma. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur mentions the portrayal of the disorder as a psychological method of coping up with the disease.
Her interaction with Doctor Wilbur provides her with a more accurate portrayal of diagnosis and treatment of Dissociated Identity Disorder. Moreover, the doctor performed frequent screen tests which minimized Sybil’s mind. The screen tests involved picture presentations, questions, and scents that might have associated with her trauma.
Furthermore, the doctor confronts Sybil’s past experiences in the psycho-therapeutic sessions. Finally, Sybil was subjected to clinical hypnosis to help in unlocking her past experiences, anger as well as anxiety. However, the prolonged memory of her past severe experiences of child abuse made Sybil suffer from the disorder for quite longer.
To conclude, Dissociative Identical Disorder is a terrible disease that is majorly caused by trauma, psychological torture and deep depression linger in one’s mind on a daily basis. It is associated with child abuse which stirs up painful memories, resulting in mental impairment. Sybil suffers from auditory hallucinations, lack of sleep and many other symptoms as a result of the disorders.
The movie Sybil brought out several different emotions and reactions personally for me. The storyline follows a young woman’s struggle with personality disorder; the cause and effects of her disease throughout her life, and the process of her repressed memories finally coming to the surface.
Although I wouldn’t say that the disorders that Sybil and I have are comparable, the process that she went through in becoming aware of her disorders and the devastation she felt when the repressed memories started to surface were almost identical.
I felt so much empathy for Sybil at different times that I had to hold back the tears. Actually, at one point when she began to feel the panic take over her due to the green kitchen, I could begin to feel my chest get tight almost as though instinctively I understood what that meant for her. Her 14 personalities seemed to more so be a coping mechanism that she had learned to use throughout her life that enabled her to deal with the extreme dysfunction and fears she endured as a child.
Each one seemed to bring out the personality or traits that she herself was unable to produce. It was most likely where the repressed memories first began to get buried. This way Sybil herself wouldn’t have to experience the trauma. The other personalities protected her from it.
Much like Sybil, I didn’t understand why I had always had nightmares, anxiety. I always felt like something was shamefully wrong with me, but if I kept it to myself they would eventually go away.
Instead, they progressively got worse over the past few years until eventually, I was no longer able to hide it. Throughout the movie, you meet most of Sybil’s personalities, who all seem to want to help Sybil. Each personality is different, but all can relate to Sybil in some way. For example; some of her personalities had certain talents that Sybil thought she could not do anymore.
After an episode in the park one day where Sybil seemed to blackout, she met a psychiatrist by the name of Dr.Wilbur. Dr. Wilbur becomes very interested in Sybil and also very dedicated to helping her. Dr.Wilbur soon finds out that Sybil has sixteen different personalities.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur, is portrayed as very ethical. In my opinion, she never did anything unethical. All she seemed to do was help Sybil each time she would come and see her. One treatment that Dr. Wilbur uses is hypnosis. She used this by taking Sybil back to her old house with her abusive mother. This treatment seemed to be effective because Dr. Wilbur learned some very horrific details about Sybil’s childhood.
Dr. Wilbur would also talk to Sybil’s different personalities and that also helped her in helping Sybil. At the end of the movie Dr. Wilbur convinces Sybil to meet her personality, she does and it seems to help her in coping with all of her problems. Sybil seems to be getting better, she wants to put all of the personalities together and create one whole person.
This movie definitely has an impact on society’s image of someone with Sybil’s disorder. I think that it makes people afraid of someone like her because she was a little scary at certain points of the movie.
The story of Sybil transcends the imaginable possibilities of reality and tragedy that may befall any existent human being. Sybil was a pseudonym used to cover the identity of Shirley Mason, a bright commercial artist who sought professional help from Dr. Cornelia Wilbur after having occasional blackouts and distorted time lapses.
Nearly half of her life was spent in psychotherapy with Dr. Wilbur and an author, Flora Schreiber, who documented the case. Raised by a mother suffering from schizophrenia, Sybil was subject to a sexual and sadistic upbringing.
Her father’s apathy and blind devotion to religion also played a huge part in the worsening of the symptoms manifested by little Sybil and Hattie, her mother. Clearly, this illustrates the ripple effect of how faulty parenting facilitates unhealthy psychological and emotional development for children. In a broader sense, the account of Sybil speaks of how constant denial of affect and truth warps the whole experience of life and the succeeding choices.
It may be referred to as a snowball effect that gets bigger when left unattended on its own as if problems solve the problems themselves.
However, all these reactions are only valid if media accounts – movie production and written literature – are fairly accurate, supported by corporeal and scientific evidence. Are they? The extraordinary strife of Sybil has sparked several debates and controversies in the discipline of psychology and psychiatry.
Was it all but an excellent performance of charade for phantom personalities in order to warrant money and clinical interest? Did Sybil receive the appropriate diagnosis she deserved for the treatment of her problems?
Were the sixteen purportedly existing personalities really true or were they just made up and labelled during hypnosis? Really? Apparently, however, no questions are necessary to point out the fact that a number of ethical guidelines and principles have been violated during Sybil’s treatment.
There has been an observed transference in the part of Dr. Wilbur when she wished for and assumed the role of being Sybil’s mother in order to prevent Sybil from suffering such.
Dissociative identity disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder) is one of the most distressing psychological conditions due to its persistent and extensive impacts on an affected individual. Studies reveal that it is a major cause of multiple mannerisms, depersonalization, in-explainable phobia, amnesia, trauma, and anxiety attacks.
Rothschild (2009) posits that the controversies surrounding multiple personality disorder with reference to its origin and characteristics have led to its increasing publicity bearing in mind that it is coupled with high prevalence rates of about 8-10% in the United States.
It is from this consideration that this paper intrinsically explores this disorder from the perspective of an abnormal psychology movie Sybil, and evaluates its background and current prevalence, the cause and theoretical considerations that explain its occurrence. Besides, the paper also examines the high levels of comorbidity for the disorder and further explores treatment options employed to treat the disorder.
Sybil is a drama film that was produced in 1976 and remade in 2007 based on the book Sybil by Flora Schreiber (Schreiber, 2009). The title role of the film is played by Sally Field who stars as Sybil Dorsett. Other characters include Sybil’s psychiatrist Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, Sybil’s mother Hattie Dorsett, Sybil’s boyfriend Richard and doctor Quinones. Other characters include Tommy, Dr. Castle, Danny, Dr. Lazarus, Cam, Miss Penny and the Selve’s family among others (Schreiber, 2009).
Sybil is a graduate student suffering from multiple personality disorder which is believed to be a consequence of psychological trauma she had suffered right from her childhood due to abuse. As she grows, Sybil develops about 13 male and female distinct personalities each with a unique ability (Schreiber, 2009).
Those female personalities include Sybil Ann a shy 5-6-year-old girl, Ruthie a pre-verbal baby, Nancy a religious fanatic afraid of Armageddon, Marcia a suicidal, Peggy a hysterical girl, Vicky a mature, sophisticated French-speaking girl and Vanessa a romantic girl. Her male personalities include Sid and Mike (Schreiber, 2009).
c) Literature review and background of the disorder
According to American Psychiatric Association (2006), the occurrence of dissociative identity disorder (DID) symptoms can be traced back to periods before the onset of the 18th century when people with such conditions were considered to be possessed with some unknown evil spirits. As a matter of fact, the disorder was largely treated and understood in terms of various myths that had been put forward.
The American Psychiatric Association notes that the definition for DID has constantly changed from an association with amnesia, somnambulism, and fugue state in DSM-I to the current behavioural definition as provided for by DSM-IV which describes it as a disorder that makes a patient victim develop multiple personalities (American Psychiatric Association, 2006).
According to Sar et al. (2009), DID is a psychiatric condition where an individual displays several distinct identities that have variant patterns of reference to the environment an individual is interacting with. Other psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder have also been found to be highly comorbid with DID.
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