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Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Sybil"

"Sybil", a pseudonym to protect the identity of Shirley Ardell Mason, is arguably the most famous psychiatric patient in history. That being said, her case is also one that has been plagued with controversy.

The case was groundbreaking for several reasons. It was the first documented case of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), to be treated through classical Freudian psychoanalytic techniques. Dr. Wilbur's use of hypnosis and age-regression as a means of reintegrating the alters was a very creative, yet time-consuming approach to therapy (the therapy lasted for 11 years). It also opened Wilbur up to criticism after the book, and later the movie, was released to the public. Some claimed that the memories of abuse and the suggestion that Shirley had alters could have been "planted" by Dr. Wilbur while Shirley was under hypnosis. Others claimed that she was only creating this intriguing and heart wrenching story to cash in on the fame it would bring her, as evidenced by the book and movie deals. They claimed that she manipulated Mason for her own financial gain (a claim that seems odd in light of the fact that Wilbur shared the profits from the book and movie with Mason and also left her $25,000 when she died in 1992). Still others claimed that the close, loving friendship that Wilbur developed with Shirley was unethical and crossed too many lines in what should have been a doctor/patient relationship. They claimed that Wilbur's affection for "Sybil" clouded her judgment and made it impossible for her to remain objective about the case.

In addition to these detractors there are many supporters of Wilbur and Mason as well. Both women were active in providing information to Flora Rheta Schreiber, the author of the book, and Shirley reportedly said that everything in the book was true. Many praise Wilbur for her work in bringing this disorder to light and helping to get it included in the DSM as a documented mental disorder.
This case continues to give rise to many questions. What are your opinions on this case? Do you believe that "Sybil" was a true multiple? Do you think that Dr. Wilbur did anything unethical in becoming such a close friend of her patient? Why do you think that the number of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed after this case was publicized? Was it simply because of the new awareness and understanding of the disorder that the public was afforded as a result of the book and movie or was Sally Field's amazing portrayal in the film simply a blueprint for attention-seeking copycats? Do you even believe that this MPD/DID is a valid diagnosis or is it too difficult to prove? I would love to hear your thoughts on these questions as well as your own reactions to the film and any questions that arose in your mind related to this case. Check out the links in this post for more information.

187 comments:

  1. I truly believe that when someone goes through a tramatic event, most people "push" it to the back of their mind their fore the person doesnt have to think about the event. There for i do believe that DID is a serious didorder,i believe it is caused by desterbing events that the person has experianced. As for the trama that Sybil experianced as a young child by her mother, i believe she truly was a multiple, to try to cope with her emotions and feelings she came to know dealing with the lasting flashbacks of her abuse. As for Dr. Wilbur, i think she was just a very kind, caring person, that wasnt in Sybils case for her own "fame" but truly wanted to help her. Even though there was a book and now a movie, i believe it was very necessary for this information to be exposed there for it could help others that had experianced similar experiances in their lives. ROrr

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  2. As the viewer watches Sybil, one might not understand why she has sixteen different personalities, or if that is even really possible. Personally, at first i didn't think it could possibly be real when Mr. Bruce first discussed it. How could someone possibly have sixteen different alters? However, as we began to watch the movie and uncover the truth about Sybil's childhood, I understood quickly how and why she had multiple personalities. She had such a horrific childhood and was so badly abused by her mother that she had created the alters to suppress the pain and the memories. One of the many things in the movie that I found were disturbing was trying to understand how a parent could possibly abuse their children as gruesome as Sybil's mother did, schizophrenic or not. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur, was rumored to have done all of this just for the money and fame. However I believe that Dr. Wilbur actually cared about Sybil. She shared the profits from the book, along with he movie, with Sybil and the author. I do believe, now, that it is truly possible to have so many alters. It's a way that humans cope with certain memories and horrific incidents we have faced.

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  3. The validity of the story of Sibil is not a concern to me. I believe that no person would intentionally ruin the best years of their life to get some money, or that a reputable, well off doctor would publish a book of lies to make a quick buck after spending 11 years creating an accurate back-story. The only real issue with the story was the fact that it is not necessarily reputable. Very few patients and doctors can share a relationship like Dr. Wilbur and Sibil. When a Doctor takes a leap and tells a patient that they love them, I feel as if it has gone beyond the duties that can be required of any doctor. This brings up the point that although Dr. Wilbur’s case study was groundbreaking in the acceptance of D.I.D, it did not lay the groundwork of a healthy doctor-patient approach to a cure. Sibil was a very moving story, and I believe that it is true.

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  4. This was my first time watching or even hearing about sybil. I was shocked that a mother would even do that to her own child. The way she would just throw her around and kick and the horrible things she did to her in the mornings after her husband left. I didnt know if it would be possible to have 16 different personalities I've heard of people having 2 or maybe 3 but 16 would take a lot of damage as a kid to get and thats exactly what happend with Sybil. Many doctors would have obviously used sybil to get rich but Dr. Wilbur did the opposite of that she tried and helped Sybil. A lot of people didnt agree with how close they became but nothing could stop that. Its not against the law to become friends with someone. Sybil didnt have that many friends anyway so when someone came around im sure it meant a lot to her.

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  5. I believe the story of Sybil is true and that Doctor Wilbur was right to do all she could to get her story published even when she couldn't get it published first in a textbook. It is understandable that some people who read the book or watched the movie might have thought of it as fiction because of the setup. I don't think that the story of Sybil is a hoax because the Doctor wouldn't have planned her life out 11 years ahead and it seems to be too much work just for a little extra money. MPD/DID is now in DSM because of Sybil and though some people don't believe it's real I think it may have saved a lot of people's lives because psychiatrists now recognize it as a legitimate problem.

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  6. The fact that Dr. Wilber got so close to her patient was inevitable, it would have been extremely hard not to, just because of the fact that she worked with Shirley for 11 years. It took extreme dedication and care to do what she did...cure Shirley of MPD/DID. Most caes in that time period were overlooked and because the patients weren't mentally connected with their doctors they were diagnosed wrong.

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  7. Before learning about Sybil, I found it hard to believe that one person could have 16 completely different personalities, and that they could just forget about something so traumatic happening in their life. Now I don't think anyone would just fake it. Something like that can mess up your entire life if it is a true case. On the other hand, their is probably many people that have tried to fake it but it never would interfere with there life that much. Sybil also never really "forgot" about being abused, she just repressed that memory into a different personality. I also think that after working with a patient for so long and getting to know them very well that it would be hard to not become friends. I don't think Dr. Wilbur was in the wrong in doing this. It didn't affect the work that she did and Sybil also really needed a close friend in her life to show her the affection that she never got as a child. Sybil loved Dr. Wilbur and said that everthing said was really true. I don't think she was in it for the money.

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  9. Sybil-A Real Case of DID?

    I do believe that Sybil was a true multiple. The fact that Sybil had such a tragic past is cause enough to have one's mind create such an awful disorder. Sybil's mind needed a way to cope with the torture of reality and created many different realities to escape. Also, most people didn't know about DID around the time of Sybil's case. If people didn't know about it, how could she have made this up? Many people accuse Sybil of attempting to gain attention by faking this disorder. Why would Sybil pick such a difficult way to gain this attention when there are so many other easier ways to accomplish the same thing? It would be difficult to act sixteen roles for eleven plus years for someone who didn't have the disorder. Sybil would have had to have been quite an actress to fool a psychiatrist for eleven years.

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  10. Before seeing this movie and hearing facts about this case, I found it hard to believe that anyone could develope 16, or even 2 different personalities. After watching "Sybil", however, I completely believe that this case is the real thing, and as terrible and traumatoic as these events were, I find it hard to believe that anyone would take the time or brainpower to come up with something as disturbing and wrong as this, and then write a book about it. No one deserves to be treated the way Shirley's awful mother did, whether the woman was sick or not.
    I now understand the reasons people develop this disorder, and it honestly makes me feel slightly better that children who are trapped in situations like this can find a way to cope with something this traumatic and learn to keep out the pain. Proved by the popular case of Shirley Mason, people can be cured of this disorder and live a normal life.

    As for Dr. Wilbur, I thoroughly believe that her actions and stories of what she found
    with "Sybil" are one-hundred percent true and may cross some patient-doctor lines, but it's difficult for me to believe that listening and almost reliving these traumatic and horrible events would make it possible to remain passive and not want to comfort that person and try to help them work through the trauma of their past and continue with their life, as Dr. Wilbur did for Shirley.

    I think that becuase this was such a popular and well-publicised case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, people jumped to conclusions with this disorder fresh in their minds, and it just became popular.

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  11. I believe that Sybil was really a woman who suffered from multiple personalities. I never truly knew that someone could develop alters to create a place to get rid of the horrible childhood she had. Obviously her doctor was going to get close to her because she worked with her for 11 years. How could she not? It's impressive how she managed to get better eventually. I don't think that it was about the money. How could the doctor plan out ahead of time that she would come across someone like Sybil, and then want all the money and fame? She shared the money, like Devin said. I believe that Sybil made the Dissociative Identity Disorder more known, and became a well known reference for it.
    -codey lybeck

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  12. I completely side with idea that Sybil's story is true and that Dr. Wilbur did what was necessary to help cure her patient. I agree with what Louis said that, " ...it did not lay the groundwork of a healthy doctor-patient approach to a cure," talking about Wilbur's emotional attachment to Sybil. On the other hand, I feel that in a case like this where no patient had been diagnosed with DID before, the doctor needed to try absolutely every approach in hopes of finding a cure or solution. If Dr. Wilbur didn't go to the lengths she did, we may still be classifying every instance like Sybil's as Schizophrenia or something else. Are people that upset that a new disorder has been discovered, to say that this is all a scheme to make money? Is society that obsessed with money that they would do such a thing? I really think not. I think that people need to be open-minded in the fact that new things are being discovered everyday. Sure, you need to question the validiy of them, but would you always say that the experts are wrong? You're not a psychologist, are you?

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  13. This was my first time watching the movie Sybil.I couldn't believe what her mother did to her.I thought her mother was crazy and just didn't like her daughter at all.Later knowing that her mother was schizophrenic explained some of what happened to Sybil.It was incredible seeing someone struggle with having 16 personalities, I've never seen someone with more then 2.Most doctors wouldn't know what to do with a patient like this.I like how Dr.Wilbur handled it in becoming her friend. That's what Sybil really needed.She needed someone to love her because her mother didn't and put her through traumatic events in her childhood.Some people thought that Dr.Wilbur was just in it for the fame and fortune.That is false you don't just be a mother figure and a friend for 11 years to be rich.Also it's not like Dr.Wilbur knew this case was going to be so famous and have a book and movie to go along with it.You can't plan 11 years ahead.

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  14. I disagree that Sybil's case was falsified, however, it definitely laid the groundwork for many others. Since most psychological disorders can't really be proven, some can be simple to fake. DID especially proved to be an easy disorder to play. Imagine a murder case where the lawyer insists that his client has Multiple Personality Disorder - she wasn't herself when she acted, nor can she even remember the event. It's an alibi that I'm sure has been abused and one that was promoted by both Sybil's book and movie. However, I don't believe Sybil acted under false pretenses. The disorder basically ruined her life, keeping her from a career or personal relationships. As for Dr. Wilbur, I believe her intentions were true. Eleven years is too long a time to spend with someone just to make money or become famous. And I don't think less of her for getting a book and movie deal after. I believe she's more than entitled to some extra money after the stress and anxiety she herself went through to 'cure' Sybil. The doctor/patient relationship was questionable, yet not something to be surprised about. It would be stranger if, after eleven years of intense case study, Dr. Wilbur still treated Sybil as just another patient. Overall, I believe the story is credible and that Dr. Wilbur had no ulterior motives.

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  15. I've never heard of the case of Sybil until we watched this in class. I was shocked to see and hear about some of the things "Sybil" went through as a young child. Obviously something was going to be wrong with her when she got older. Sixteen personalities is a little much, but the main five we heard about, really surprised me that something like this could actually happen to someone. I imagine her life was very confusing and complicated. I believe Dr. Wilbur had to get close to sybil to solve her case. I think it would help a patient like this for someone to show effection for them, especailly with sybil because she never felt like anyone loved her other then her grandmother. Dr. Wilbur did a great job helping Sybil figure out how to over come this. I dont believe Dr. Wilbur was wrong to keep her real name in the case instead of a cover up name, that way people can actually tell that this case is true and have some sort of background information.

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  16. As a person who has faith in things that others reject, I see the story of Sybil to be amazing and quite true. The brain is such a complex organism that almost anything is possible. Both the brain and the body work together to create a comfortable environment. If something tragic such as rape, trauma, or abuse occurs, the body will try to suppress the pain by any means possible. Now, if the anxiety cannot be removed by force or a fight, than the brain will try something that the body cannot do. It creates someone to take the abuse and someone else to enjoy life when they are no longer in the abusive situation. This is quite a fascinating thing actually, other than the fact that it had to change in the first place. What is interesting about Shirley Mason, is the fact that she had so many different alters. Why couldn’t she just have two alters, one to be happy and the other one to endure the pain? I do not know the answer to this myself, but it makes the story even more interesting. The other issue is whether or not the story is valid. First, you could not pay me enough to ruin my whole life and live as a psychiatric patient, and I don’t believe a lot of people would. There is little chance that she was thinking of fame. Secondly, is the validity of Dr. Wilbur. Again, it is important to understand that she spent a good chunk of her life, devoted to ONE patient. That shows extreme dedication and requires a lot of time close to the patient. The fact that they became so close was inevitable if Mason was to be saved. It is just not possible for any progress to be made if Shirley Mason did not trust Cornelia Wilbur. Wilbur was not in it for the money, but enjoyed the revenue that did come in from the story. But who wouldn’t? It is safe to say that for the most part, the story is accurate, but will we ever know for sure?

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  17. Before watching the movie "Sybil" in class, I was unaware of this case study. I did not believe that one could develop 16 different personalites, or even 2. After watching this movie, I was more than shocked to see and hear about some of the things Sybil went through. I believe this story is completely true. It is hard to believe that someone would take so much time and brainpower to come up with such a disturbing story as this and write a movie about it and produce it as a film. I imagine that Dr.Wilbur had a hard time dealing with all of this while studying the case. Dr.Wilbur helped Shirley out so much. By becoming her friend and more like a sister by the end of the story. I doubt Dr.Wilbur was just in it all for the fortune and fame. Sybil's life, or as we all know her now as Shirley, must of lived a completely tragic and complicated life. Not knowing who she was half the time and what went on while she was someone else. Shirley's mom was so messed up. Knowing that her mom was diagnosed schizophrenia makes people that watch this movie and read the book have a better understanding of why her mom might of done all these traumatoic and rememorable things to her own daughter. All the things that happened to Shirley while she was a young girl was still completely horrible. No one should ever have to deal with that kind of abuse. After hearing about Sybil's story and the help that Dr.Wilbur provided for her, makes me feel better knowing that there actually is some what of a cure for children that get diagnosed with this disorder.

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  18. The story of "Sybil" was quite an amazing and almost unreal story to believe. What happened to her in her younger age was horrible. Some of the things her mother did to her was beyond bad. It was new to me hearing of a person with 16 different personalities, and only learning of a select few in the movie. I believe that Sybil was a true multiple because how could someone act this out? You must be quite good at fooling people to do this. How Dr.Wilbur treated this case and how she developed her relationship with Sybil was fine in my mind. Becoming as close as they did allowed her doctor to understand her better and let Sybil be more comfortable with her doctor. Theres no way that Dr.Wilbur did this just to become famous. If she really didn't care about her patient she would not have stayed with her for 11 years and after Sybil was better, she would not have continued to be her friend. I believe Sybil's case is a believable case, people would say it's a case that can't be proved but the professionals do. Through everything I believe this was one of the most terrific stories and Sybil's case is true.

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  19. Before we even started talking about the movie "Sybil" I never really knew about the multiple personality disorder. After finding out all the information from the movie and listening in class, the disorder definitely seems more believable. Shirley Mason's case with Dr. Wilbur was a long process, but it everything came together in the end. In my opinion i think that Sybil was a true multiple. She had many different personalities and after finding out that facts show that most patients with MPD/DID had abuse in their childhood, it was even more believable. I think that Dr. Wilbur did do the right think by becoming close with Sybil. It may have made people believe that she was just trying to put thing into Sybil's head with hypnosis, but if that were true, i don't think that she would have stayed friends with her for as long as she did, or stuck with the process if she was in for the money. The increase of diagnosis in my opinion was because most people didn't realize what multiple personality disorder really was until after the book and movie were produced. Multiple personality disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder is definitely a valid diagnosis i think because there have been many patients diagnosed with this disorder, and its hard to believe that all patients were faking the personalities.

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  20. In many ways Sybil shows how destructive abuse can be, and how one person's warped mind can cause so much damage upon another that the most constant aspect of an individual, their identity, shatters like glass. While depicting the seemingly fragile state of human consciousness, it also shows the infinite complexity of the human mind, and the ingenuity that we possess in order to survive. If looked at from an alternate perspective, the development of alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder is in fact a genius adaptation as a coping method. The unfortunate truth is that due to trauma, some emotions and memories are too intense to experience, especially if the individual is a young child like Sybil, where their consciousness is not yet developed enough to processes them. The creation of alters is a method to block out these experiences, allowing for the individual to function and survive. While not a perfect solution, this method can preserve one's sanity until the memories can be processed (or even indefinitely if necessary), when otherwise their consciousness would be overrun and destroyed by the memories. In fact, if not for our societal rules regarding “normal” behavior, the use of alters as an outlet for unpleasant emotions could be seen as an evolutionary advantage.

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  21. Sybil's story was very interesting and intriguing. Before Sybil, I hadn't really known much at all about Dissociative Identity Disorder. After watching the film, I have no doubt that Sybil truly suffered from DID. I felt that Cornelia Wilbur treated Sybil very profesionally. I do not feel that the doctor did anything unethical in the way that she became a close friend to Sybil. After the traumatic childhood that resulted with her alters, I believe what Sybil really needed was a close friend. I think the number of DID cases increased after this book and movie because it released the symptoms and revealed what it would be like to have this disorder. Before this extensive case, Dissociative Personality Disorder had never been classified as a real disorder. Now that there was real evidence with Sybil's case, it gave other people suffering from DID the chance to be diagnosed.

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  22. In the movie "Sybil" they display Disociative Identity Disorder(DID) very well. Sybil went through alot as a kid. The things that she went through no one should have to go through in a life time. It ruined her life and the real facts on the way people live. Sybils case is the most promonate case of DID. For her father not to know what was happening to his daughter there was obviously something that either hes not telling or he just wasnt around enough. When your child has the most obscene broken bones, fractures, locked in places, you would think you would start to look into things, but not in this case. Sybil was very close to her grandmother, which was a good get away from her mother. She was loved there, took care of, and treated like a little girl. This has to be one of the sadess things i have ever heard.

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  23. I believe that “Sybil” for the most part was true. No one can truly show us as viewers what it was really like for Sybil to push through to reality. As for saying it’s a hoax, I think not. Eleven years of someone’s life just for some extra cash is a very long time. Do you realize how hard it would be to pull off something like that? Although I see where it concerned others about how close Sybil and Dr. Wilbur had become and from that they got a false sense of concept. I also disagree with the fact of people saying how evil the mother was; again this is a disorder, and it can’t always be controlled, nor can it be permanently cured. The mother might not have acted as she did if she was in her right mind. Considering the mistreatment and stress Sybil went through to become “normal” took a great deal of effort and time. I got a sense of what it would be like to have multiple personality disorder and in fact it can be a disorder that could be horrifying and self- destructive. I would definitely recommend watching the movie or reading the book.

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  25. I think the case of "Sybil," or Shirley Mason, was true. I dont believe that someone can pretend to have 16 personalities for more than a decade. Stories would get mixed up and confused and someone would definately notice after a while. I also don't believe that Dr. Wilbur was trying to take advantage of Shirley by suggesting thoughts to her. True- it doesn't help that Shirley was so suggestable, but again, 11 years make a huge difference. I truly don't believe that someone will spent that much time on a scam. Also, Dr. Wilbur found a lot of viable evidence to defend the case. Also, was Dr. Wilbur "unethical?" Maybe in most cases, but this was a new disorder and Shirley needed someone. One would guess that having multiple personality disorder makes it kind of hard to make friends. I believe that Dr. Wilbur had to grow closer to Shirley to build trust. And seriously, did this "unethical" practice hurt anyone? If it helped Shirley find safety and friendship, why would it matter? However, I do think that there were many copycats of this. I am not saying that everyone was acting, but there must have been a few. People want fame and attention. There are also those people who look in a medical book and automatically think they have 6 different diseases. But all in all, I believe that "Sybil's" case was true, although I wish it wasn't.

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  26. I have to totally agree with Sibil's side of the story and that Dr. Wilbur did her best to help Sibil in any way.That Sibil had DID due to terrible trauma that happened when she was a child.Thanks to Dr. Wilbur who tried to help her in any way to find information about DID.Many people had this disorder confused it with Schizophrenia and people were often mislead to believe it. Sibil was a very serious case and I consider Sibil lucky to have Dr. Wilbur has long as she did. I definately don't believe this was all a fake to make Dr. Wilbur money, whose to say that someone else didn't discovered a new disorder? I believe that Sibil was helped tremendously because of Dr. Wilbur, whose to say where Sibil would be if it wasn't for her. I know I am not one to judge or state that this case isn't true because I totally believe it is 100% true. I think in todays world everyone is so worried someone else is going to discover something new before them; give people credit and be happy that they can help people like Dr. Wilbur helped Sibil. Overall "Sibil" was a very touching movie to watch and it really made me think about how scary life can be, and that Sibil was very lucky to have Dr. Wilbur in her life.

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  27. Sybil is an accurate movie. Shirley Mason managed to cope with the disturbing trauma inflicted by her mother through her sixteen different altars. The idea of altars is hard to grasp for people who have grown up in a sane environment. Shirley wasn't this lucky, so she needed someone other then herself to experience the pain. Shirley's strength is astounding. She managed to take care of herself for a long time before the altars took over. Even after they took over, inside she knew she needed help. Dr. Wilbur was the help she needed. It may be true that Dr. Wilbur didn’t lay the groundwork for a healthy doctor patient relationship, but it was the only way to truly connect with Sybil. Sybil needed the loving parental figure she never had to make it through. No human being can spend eleven years close with someone without forming an attachment, and no decent human being could form a story as crazy as Sybil just for fame.

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  28. I believe in what the others have stated. Dr Wilbur could only end up getting close with her patients, she had been working with Shirley for a total time of eleven years, if she didn't care for her patients, Sybil, aka Shirley Mason, wouldn't have been cured of the MPD/DID that she had. Dr. Wilbur had to get close to her to let the alters, that would be in "Sybil's" place, open up to her to find out what the problem was so that she could help cope her through it. If its unprofessional to go to certain links to help cure somebody of a dissease, like what Dr. Wilbur did, then I would hope that more doctors like her existed to help the disseased from their pain.

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  29. Sybil, just like all of Psychology, for was an eye opening and a true learning experience for me. Before, I was very doubtful of people with "disorders" and psychiatric problems. Yet, once I learned what can cause these disorders and their names, my point of view completely changed. Through Dr. Wilbur I learned about the crazy ways Shirley's mother abused her! Totally sick ways of treating a child. When I read the dissociative coping theory, dissociating into another person, or alter, seems to be the only way one could possibly live through such traumatic times. Mrs. Mason was Shirley's mother, she wasn't supposed to be treating Shirley that way.
    Dr. Wilbur decided to take Shirley under her wing, using classic Freudian psychoanalysis, especially age-regressing hypnosis. Yes, it may seem easy for people to not believe that Shirley had 16 alters and believe that Dr. Wilbur had created them. Yet, as we learn from all of the information, Dr. Wilbur was a friend of Shirley and helped her heal. It is evident to me that Dr. Wilbur wanted to give the world this case study to help others with similar disorders. She put a lot of her life into this case study, and tried to protect Shirley by using another name. People don't give money or live near someone that they'd manipulate or use for fame.

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  30. The case of "Sybil" or Shirley Mason is without a doubt in my mind a true story of a tortured little girl. I don't believe that any doctor with a reputation at stake would make any of Sybil’s traumatic experiences up. They are way to disturbing for someone to just come up with out of thin air to become famous and make money off of. Personally, it's very hard to understand and grasp the concept of someone having sixteen different personalities but after hearing her story, I completely understand why and how it happened. The only way Sybil could live her life would be to suppress everything that her mother did to her throughout her childhood and mask over it with an alternate personality. The fact that Doctor Wilbur became so close to Sybil is completely understandable. Sybil had never experienced that type of affection or love from anyone before. It was necessary for Wilbur to show Sybil that being loved was okay and normal and everyone wasn't out to harm her. My theory on MPD skyrocketing after the movie would be that people were finally aware of the disease and could diagnose it better I believe any educated doctor could tell between a faker and a real MPD patient. As far as the movie goes, from what I have heard about the true story of Shirley Mason, Sally Fields did an exceptional job of portraying someone with MPD. I imagine it's not easy trying to be so many different people interacting with each other and so on. The movie was a great depiction of Sybil's heartbreaking childhood and heartwarming recovery.

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  31. Throughout the whole movie “Sybil” only one question could cross my mind. Is this really happening? I was questioning the truth behind the whole story. I kept asking the students around me… I don’t understand, what did her mother do that was so wrong to her to have her create all these alternate personalities? It made me believe this was all a joke. But as the movie went on and watching the disturbing abuse Sybil’s mother had done to her, there was no way that this story could be fake. Becoming interested and attached to each alter is what made me believe in this insane case. No way anyone could or would want to create 16 different personalities.
    Sybil’s mother was a schizophrenic, but in my personal opinion that is not an excuse for this situation. Sybil’s mother had done things that shouldn’t be spoken of. The cruelty and the tragic experiences her mother put her through were disgusting. This is what caused Sybil’s issues as an adult. Sybil had to hide herself so she could stay away from the “hurt.” Hence making 16 different alters and making herself the most infamous case of multiple personality disorder. But this wasn’t done one purpose; it’s neither what she wanted nor her doctor. Dr. Wilbur was the one who diagnosed Sybil’s case. She wasn’t in it for the fame and fortune, she cared about Sybil. I believe she loved Sybil and was her friend. Anyone could have taken Sybil in and done the same job Dr. Wilbur had done. But she took the time for Sybil (11 years) and made her face the fears and become one functioning personality.
    I think that the movie “Sybil” was a good way to reach out to people about this disorder. I for one did not know much until I watched it and most definitely didn’t understand how series this can be. I think that the alters were very believable and the fact that it is a true story is what sets it off. I don’t believe the horrific events that Sybil had encountered as a child couldn’t be just for fame. They are too intense and disturbing to be made up.

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  32. i don't believe the horrific events that sybil had encountered as a child could* just be for fame. *spellcheck*

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  33. I think Sybil was a very brave person to have endured all the horrible abuse from her mother and still carry on life as she did. Some people might have given up on everything after all that, but Sybil found a way sort of a way to escape from the memories. She was obviously dedicated to getting her life on track to have spent eleven years with Dr. Wilbur. I believe that DID is real and that Sybil's case is real and not for publicity.

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  34. At first I had found it hard to believe that someone could have 16 different alters, but after observing a little bit of what "Sybil's" life was like it's no wonder no one's ever heard of it before. I don't believe that "Sybil" or Dr. Wilbur planned this out; they probably didn't announce it because that would have destroyed Shirley's life. I do believe that DID exists, but it's harder to diagnose it because of two things one people are saying that they have it so that they can have more attention and two the question that is said the most is "who draws the line?"

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  35. I was familiar with MPD/DID prior to hearing about Sybil's case, but was amazed to hear how severe it could get. I never knew having sixteen different personalities was possible however, I consider her to be a true multiple. The information provided from Dr. Wilbur's case with Sybil has me convinced. She directly connected Sybil's MPD/DID case with the horrific abuse at the hand of her mother that she coped with throughout her childhood. I do not believe that Dr. Wilbur was unethical in deciphering this case. There was going to be inevitable closeness between Shirley Mason and Dr. Wilbur after working together for 11 years. I also believe that Dr. Wilbur would not have sacrificed 11 years of her professional career to cash in on Sybil’s traumatic history. The film Sybil did a great job of revealing Sybil’s character and enlightening people of this bizarre disorder.

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  36. Sybil might have been one of the most horrifying movies I have ever seen. Not because of suspence or things jumping out at you, but because this really happened to someone. The things that happened to this young girl are terrifying and the movie was sometimes hard to watch at parts. I couldn't imagine going through something like this. I don't beleive that this is made up at all. Who could make something like this up? Dr. Wilbur was definately not into this study for the money. I beleive that she was honestly trying to help this girl.

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  37. Before learning about the horrific story of "Sybil", I didn't think having multiple personalities was possible. I also thought that if you claimed to have multiple personalities then you were schizophrenic. “Sybil”, was abused by her mother every single morning until she was old enough to attend school, and if she cried the abuse would continue. The torment was unthinkable and was described as very painful. At one part in the film it explained that her mother had been schizophrenic, and had sat still one winter oblivious to everything around her. That was the best time of “Sybil’s” young life because she didn’t have to worry about her mother hurting her. That really hit me when I heard that, because this little girl who should have been looking up to her mother, feared her and was happy that her mom wasn’t around to hurt her for once. From all the pain and suffering came “Sybil’s” alters. The main ones were Peggy who was a very angry little girl, but it was because she had suppressed the pain, another was Marsha the suicidal alter, and Vicky a very intellectual loving person. Dr. Cornelia Wilbur is the psychiatrist that helped “Sybil” control and regroup her alters. She worked with her for eleven years and also became life long friends. Many criticize her for becoming friends with her patient, however in this case I found it to be necessary. “Sybil” because of her condition was a recluse, having Doctor Wilbur by her side eased some of her stress, and helped form a bound of trust. Without the help from Doctor Wilbur I believe “Sybil” would not have lived as long as she did, she was living a very destructive life before the help of Doctor Wilbur. No human being should have to go through the horrific pain and suffering that this women endured. It caused her to loose track of time and life, but with the help of talk therapy and hypnosis, “Sybil’s” life was given back to her.

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  38. Sybil was a shock to me. I was shocked that one a woman would do that to her child even while being schizophrenic, and two that this disorder is actually real. I had trouble believing it at first but after seeing this movie I realized that this is actually possible and happens.

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  39. I believe that the case of "Sybil", or Shirley Mason, was true. I don't think it is possible to make up a story of abuse that is as horrific and devastating as hers. I doubt that anyone could fake having 16 different personalities for over 11 years; it would become too confusing and too demanding of her. It doesn't seem at all surprising that she needed to split herself into many different people to cope with her pain. Professionals in the field of psychology should embrace this study as a remarkable case to be learned from, even if they're not convinced of its validity. It seems unfair that instead of receiving praise for her break through, Cornelia Wilbur was ridiculed. I find it hard to believe that she planted memories in Shirley's head and convinced her that she had multiple personalities if it was Shirley that came to her for help in the first place. She must have known something was wrong in her mind or she would not have been seeking professional psychological help. I can see how some might think that Dr. Wilbur turning Shirley's life into a book was in pursuit of money, but after sharing the money with Mason and Schreiber her intentions seem clear. Some also may believe that changing everyone's name in the book but her own was a scheme for fame, but her reasoning of wanting to give the case some validity by having a medical degree is a legitimate and logical explanation. I believe that this tragic case is true, I fully credit Dr. Wilbur for her work and Sybil for her incredible strength and ability to overcome her pain.

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  40. Now obviously with a case as significant as the "Sybil" case there are going to be critics. There are going to be people trying to become famous for making a mockery of Dr. Wilber, because they couldn't cure a patient they had with the same disorder or just pure jealousy of the fame that came with the case. Yes, fame did obviously come with this case, because it was a major break through for psychoanalysis. We are always going to have these skeptical psychologists that say, "Oh, well I couldn't accomplish this task, therefore it cannot be possible". Well, when they come forward with evidence that it was a charade that out shows Dr. Wilber's evidence that it was true, then maybe I'll believe them. Until that day comes, Dr. Wilber still has provided the world with more evidence saying it was all true. Let's not forget that she had been working with "Sybil" for 11 years, 11 years people. I don't know of anyone who would take 11 years out of there life to put into one lie. So bottom line I think that the critics, and skeptics should maybe try putting 11 years of work into something before they trash someone else's achievements.

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  41. Like Kevin, having heard of this disorder many times before, I'd have to say that I believe the story of "Sybil" is a true story. It doesn't seem that far fetched to me that someone who went through that much abuse at that age would develop DID/MPD. I think it's a strange theory that people would think that Dr. Wilbur made the story up just to make money because a psychiatrist would already be making alot of money, but also because she shared the procedes of the sales with Shirley Mason. The doctor who said that Dr. Wilbur invented the alters waited until everyone invovled had passed away before coming forward with this 'information' which takes away from his credibility. And although it would be nice to see the actual notes from all 11 years, that would be breaking doctor-patient confidentiality even though Dr. Wilbur and Shirly Mason are both gone so it's just as well.

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  42. Dr. Wilbur was an amazing doctor, and I believe that she did exactly what was needed in order to help Sybil. There was no way that the eleven years that Dr. Wilbur spent helping Sybil was all a lie fabricated to gain fame and money. Wilber advanced the field of Psychology enormously by helping doctors better understand what Dissociative Identity Disorder is. I think becoming attached to Sybil/Mason was the right thing to do because Dr. Wilbur was the support that Sybil needed to get through everything she was remembering. I also think that publishing a book about DID, so people could better understand it, was an appropriate thing to do.

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  43. After watching the film Sybil and talking about it in class I find it really hard to believe that she could have been living a lie especially after 11 years of working with her. A doctor such as Dr. Wilbur with her experience would've found her in a lie if she had been faking her alters. Also she had no reason to fake it all, she wasn't going to make any money off it and any publicity she gained would have only affected her and Dr. Wilbur negatively. Overall the case study of Sybil was definitely a landmark case an established itself in the world of pyschology.

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  44. After watching "Sybil" and reading Flora Schreiber's book on Shirley Mason, I have no doubt that the case study was false. The evidence and memories recalled in the book and film are terrible, they are simply disgusting what "Hattie Dorset" did to her daughter, and other children as well. Aside from suffering from scizophrenia, that could have been treated, but being an enormous Christian family, they withdrew from any treatment of "Hattie", who continued to abuse Shybil. Throughout the life of Sybil, her perception of love was soiled and disfigured by pain, embarrassment, all examples of the opposite of love. The only love she recieved was by her grandmother, and when she passed away, her family left her in her room for the funeral. This is when the first extensive "time loss" occured.
    From these encounters of love being snatched away, like a dog being thrown an invisible stick, Sybil was denied love throughout her life. Dr. Cornelia Wilbur gave her that love, she listened to Sybil, she gave her that chance to let her alters talk, she came to know them all and came to recognize each and know them by name, she created a relationship with Sybil and the rest of the fifteen alters. It took eleven years to finally set Sybil free of the pain and lack of love her mother and seemingly her father inflicted upon her since infancy. I belive if any person who has thought of this case study as a scam or a chance to make a fast buck has never fully read the case study or has never looked at the full picture of the case. After reading the story, I completely believe that Shirley Mason was not faking her alters, nor did Dr. Wilbur "Implant" ideas inside her head.

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  45. Shirley Mason's life that was documented in a book and movie called "Sybil" is probably the biggest and most known case in psychology. However, some people and psychologist challenge the case, saying that Dr. Wilbur could have transplanted these images of abuse into Shirley's mind during the hypnosis of their meetings. Or that she completely made up the story along with Mason to get rich. Whatever the belief is, I believe in the Sybil case and the horrible things that happened to this human. Why would anyone make up such horrible ways of torture? Who would think of using an enema bag with cold water? I don't think any normal human could or even want to think about such things happening to a little girl. And why would a successful psychiatrist make up a story to gain notability that was already obtained? It just doesn't seem likely.

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  46. I beleive that Dr. Wilbur was already doing well financially. After 11 years of sybils case it would be very odd to try and make some profit off Shirley Mason's case. I respect Dr. Wilbur's decision to get attached to Shirley Mason, it was the right thing to do with a bizzar case like this one. I know that Dr. Wilbur saved this girls life and in giveing Mason a slice of the money she should on track enjoying the rest of her life.

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  47. I am going to start off with, as my first time watching Sybil, it was a bizzar and weird movie. I feel that Dr. Wilbur did a very good job with Sybil, i feel that if she didn't get as close as she did to Sybil that she wouln't have been able to help her like she did. I feel that if Dr. Wilbur treated Sybil like she would with any other patient, that Sybil would not have been cured. But over all, i honestly do not think that Dr. Wilbur MADE Sybil have these problems, i think that she did have them and Dr. Wilbur helped he with them like she is supposed to.

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  48. This was my first time watching or even hearing about Sybil. I found this movie to be very interesting and educational. I have heard of multiple personality disorder before, but I never knew it could have such an effect on someone’s life. The fact that she was able to make a different personality in order to get through things in her life is amazing to me. This movie got my attention, and I am currently reading the book. I couldn’t believe that someone could do such horrible things to a little girl, let alone your own daughter. I think that it was ridiculous how Sybil's father could be completely oblivious to what was happening when he left the house. If you find your child in a wheat bin, at the top of a barn, you shouldn’t believe that the neighbor boy carried her up the stairs, locked her in and tied her hands with the dishtowels that belonged to Sybil’s mother. It was nice that Sybil had one person who truly loved her and that was her grandmother. Although she was also unaware of what was happening right downstairs, she was the one person that Sybil could go and have a good time with. Dr. Wilbur played a huge part in Sybil's life, by being there for her and understanding what she was going through. She was the reason Sybil could go on with life and handle having multiply personalities. She didn’t give up on her and worked with her for eleven years until she got to the bottom of what was wrong.

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  49. After taking the film Sybil in, I find it impossible to believe that Dr. Wilbur could have been living a lie after 11 years of working with Sybil. Of course after working with a patient for 11 years, your going to have a strong bond with that person. After seeing what Sybil had to go through when she was younger, I find it incredible that she had the brain to create different people for herself. Working with Dr. Wilbur gave Sybil a better understanding of who she really is.

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  51. The problems surrounding the psychologist/patient relationship are far to many. Why? I think that the case of Sybil should be a building block to future psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. If a psychologist can help their patient through "getting more personal",like what Dr. Wilbur did, then go ahead. I think the whole psychology field needs to be broken down into more specific sectors of available psychological help: whether it be a specified hypnosis, psychoanalyzer, or a guy who sits and sifts through old family photos with you to make you feel better. Whatever the case may be, I have one point: Sybil overcame her problems with the "personal" help of Dr. Wilbur, so, why can't other psychologists use the same tactics?

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  52. Before learning about MPD/DID in class, I had heard of it, but had a hard time believing that it was true. After learning about Sybil's case, I can totally understand how a person can have this. When someone has as traumatic of a life as Sybil, they would probably do anything to forget their horrific memories. Also, with the idea of Dr. Wilbur doing the whole case for money, well, I don't agree with that. Not many people would work with a patient for 11 years just for a little extra cash. As for Dr. Wilbur getting too close to Sybil, I dont think she did anything wrong. When someone works with a patient for that long and learns so much about their life, it would be hard not to get close to the patient. Also, in some circumstances, Dr. Wilbur needed to be close to Sybil in order to figure out what exactly happen to her during her horrific childhood.

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  53. I have never heard of something like this before, untill we learned about Sybil's case. She had suffered from a disorder called, Mutliple Personality Disorder. Which obviously was such a tramatic thing for anyone to have gone through, That alters were Sybil's only exscape from the horrific things that were being done to her by her mother. So i belive that is was a true case. Why would someone make up all of indepth thing's that had alot of evidence just for attenition. Why would it be a bad thing to have a close relationship to your patient, I mean Sybil Needed love and someone to care about her more than anything. I dont think theres anything wrong with that. Dr.Wibur truly cared about Sybil. I also belive that people after this movie had new awareness about MPD/DID but also people are always seeking attention and i belive there are also people who would fake the disorder. Its hard to determine but you can clearly tell with Sybils cases she wasn't mentaly healty or stable.

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  54. I believe that there is no way that Dr. Wilbur and Shirley couldn't have formed a relationship with all the time they spent together, and where it may have been inappropriate in other circumstances, it was somewhat necessary in this particular case. Because of the intensity with which Shirley suffered from her disorder, it was necessary for her to be able to contact Dr. Wilbur and vice versa at all times. I do believe that Shirley was a true multiple, because not only would it be extremely difficult to keep all sixteen personalities straight in one's mind if one were to fake such a thing, but it would also be a very complicated story to come up with. If Shirley were a writer, she could have written the book herself. She was a painter of pictures, not words. I believe that the number of cases skyrocketed after their story went for two reasons. First of all, people who had the disorder probably had life-changing revelations when they realized there was a reason everyone thought they were weirdos and why they kept losing the time. Secondly, it gave attention-seekers something else to add to their fake illness catalog, though one would have to be a great actor in order to pull that off. I believe that MPD/DID is a valid disorder, and though it is difficult to prove or disprove, it would be extremely taxing and really unethical, not to mention time-consuming and totally not worth much to feign the disorder. -Emily T.

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  55. I believe that all the controversy about the validity of the case is unnecessary. It's clear to me that the case is true. I don't understand why anyone would waist eleven years of their life simply to obtain the reputation of a crazy person. I understand why they would want to be famous, but I don't understand why they would want to be famous for something that's so easily criticized. Also theres the fact that there are records that prove that Sybils mother was a schizophrenic, and they also had neighbors that would attest to the fact that her mother wasn't exactly in her right mind.

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  56. I have to admit that I do not agree with the critics of this case. I do believe that what Shirley had was true, and that the case became too high profile and opened up a door for criticism. Shirley, "Sybil", clearly had a mother who was completely mentally ill, and the abuse that she put upon Sybil was traumatic enough to cause Sybil's illness. However, the fact that Dr. Wilbur became close friends with Sybil is a bit unprofessional, and I can see why some criticize that; one may believe that her work is biased and some details could be hindered to make the case sound more bizzare to make it become more famous. But I think that Dr. Wilbur's work on Sybil is revolutionary in the field of psychiatry, and the critics should stop mocking her work just so they might be able to get their fifteen minutes of fame.

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  57. I personalty do believe that Sybil was a person who really had DID and suffered a lot throughout her childhood. I think that Dr.Wilbur did not cross any line at all by being her friend. After 11 years I would believe it would be very hard to not be attached and be a friend to a patient. The reason the number of diagnosed cases arose after is because people became aware of the distorter. But I also believe others pretended to have DID also so they could get attention and fame. Overall, it was a great, yet horrible movie. Horrible only because what happened to Sybil's childhood, and that it was real.

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  58. After watching the movie and knowing what I do know about the case I would say that “Sybil” did have the Multiple Personalities Disorder. To me I find it hard to believe that "Sybil" would be so creative as to create all these different personalities just to get some sort of attention. I also believe that Dr. Wilbur wasn't trying to find get rich off of "Sybil's" case. If Dr. Wilbur was trying to become famous I feel as though she would have found some other way to get a claim at fame and that she wouldn’t have spent so much time with the case. To me this case seems real because if Dr. Wilbur did want to become famous she wouldn’t have spent so much time caring for "Sybil" the way that she did.
    Some people also question how realistic and ethical the case is because of how close Dr. Wilbur became with "Sybil." Many of the people say that Dr. Wilbur crossed the lines with her patient and that she should have handed off the case to someone else because she had become too close to "Sybil" in a personal aspect. Although Dr. Wilbur did become close with "Sybil" and she did also stay friends with her after they had finished their work together I believe that that was the only way to help "Sybil." In my opinion Dr. Wilbur had to show affection to "Sybil" and be a mother like figure to "Sybil" to be able to help her get over the memories of her childhood that she had blocked out. To me the case of "Sybil" is very true and that Dr. Wilbur did help "Sybil" get through her disorder.

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  59. Nicole Fyles


    After watching the movie and knowing what I do know about the case I would say that “Sybil” did have the Multiple Personalities Disorder. To me I find it hard to believe that "Sybil" would be so creative as to create all these different personalities just to get some sort of attention. I also believe that Dr. Wilbur wasn't trying to find get rich off of "Sybil's" case. If Dr. Wilbur was trying to become famous I feel as though she would have found some other way to get a claim at fame and that she wouldn’t have spent so much time with the case. To me this case seems real because if Dr. Wilbur did want to become famous she wouldn’t have spent so much time caring for "Sybil" the way that she did.
    Some people also question how realistic and ethical the case is because of how close Dr. Wilbur became with "Sybil." Many of the people say that Dr. Wilbur crossed the lines with her patient and that she should have handed off the case to someone else because she had become too close to "Sybil" in a personal aspect. Although Dr. Wilbur did become close with "Sybil" and she did also stay friends with her after they had finished their work together I believe that that was the only way to help "Sybil." In my opinion Dr. Wilbur had to show affection to "Sybil" and be a mother like figure to "Sybil" to be able to help her get over the memories of her childhood that she had blocked out. To me the case of "Sybil" is very true and that Dr. Wilbur did help "Sybil" get through her disorder.

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  60. Of course there will always be controversy and judgement surrounding any occurrence of this size. However, I believe Dr. Wilbur and Shirley Mason did not make anything up, intentionally try to gain fame, or make any monetary gains. The more logical answer for the reason they published the book seems to be that they wanted the world to become aware of this disorder, since it was not listed anywhere at the time.
    A patient-doctor relationship should be maintained in normal cases, but this was far from normal. In a situation this unique it seemed necessary to show affection towards "Sybil", as she had never had a true mother figure. The critics of the case say that being close to Sybil made her bias, but how could anyone not be bias after hearing about the abuse that took place?

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  61. although this movie was very sad and contained a lot of sickening things i believe that it is necessary for people to see what other people do. this book and movie had lead to great advances with these two metal disorders and many more too. i don't think any of this was made up because like someone from a previous year said how can someone keep up with that many personalities for 11 years. i also think that Dr. Wilbur did cross the line of doctor patient relationship, but it was for a good reason. i'm not exactly sure how Dr. Wilbur went about this but i would say what she did is fine if she notified other doctors of her work so that she could get more advise and just to be safe. even though it is a sad case i think that the work Dr. Wilbur did has helped many and that is a great way to make a bad situation somewhat better. buehler

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  62. I think Dr.Wilbur and Sherley Mason, "Sybil," were telling the truth. what would Dr.Wilbur have to gain if she was and already respected psychiatrist? I think the disorder is a real one and that Sybil's case was real as well as unique. Dr.Wilbur did not do anything unethical in becoming friends with Sybil and helping her to over come all of her personalities and remember all the bad memories.

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  63. I also believe that this case is true. Personally, I think if I went through what "Sybil" supposedly did I would create alters to deal with it too. She was abused and permanently damaged, and not to mention I don't think anyone could be evil enough to hypnotize someone into thinking they were severely abused for money! And think 11 years that is a ton of time for money. As for Dr. Wilbur, I would say she had to make a friendship with Sybil. If she did not have her trust as a friend, I do not think Sybil would have told Dr. Wilbur al that she did. It made Sybil better! I do believe that this was a real case and a very real disorder. With the rising number of cases after the movie,...well I think it is safe to say I am sure a number of people faked it after watching. But, people can fake a lot of mental illnesses so there is nothing you can rally do about it.

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  64. after watching the movie and reading passages from the book i have come to a conclusion that MPD is, in fact, a true diagnosis. i do not feel that their is any way to master the lie of over 15 alters. Sybil was a lady that just wanted to seek help and a companion to help her through her time of need. she didn't know what was right and what was wrong and what she really needed was love and guidance in her life. i feel that is why she stayed with Dr. Wilbur so long. she treated her like a mother and showed her the affection she always wanted. i also feel that the ethnic boundary of a doctor patient relationship was definitely not crossed. even if Wilbur treated her like a daughter it was only because she felt sorry for the unbelievable she went through as a child. and as for the subject of profound fame? that, in my book, is completely absurd. first of all Sybil never wanted to have any fame over her disorder and was merely seeking out help. and as for Doctor Wilbur, she was already a successful doctor and did not need fame to make her money. so in the end i would have to say that this whole case of DID was completely ethnic and did not cross the boundaries many felt it did.

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  65. Though it is stunning that one can dissociate from their mind and lose track of time and their whereabouts, the illness Sybil suffered is real. Some may believe that because the actress portraying Sybil did such a good job, and because of the spike in DID has increased in the last few decades, this disease is falsified and not classified as real. But the horrendous abuse that Sybil endured is the farthest thing from false, and is for certain not planted by her loving and nurturing psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur. In this case, the bond between the two was more than essential. It was extremely important for Dr. Wilbur to become close to Sybil so she could heal the troubled girl. Without making that bond, the healing process could not be successful. Sybil needed the proper nurture, the nurture she never received from her sick and twisted mother. Because Dr. Wilbur opened up to her so, Sybil was able to open up as well and this aided in the process that was necessary to clear those horrible thoughts and memories of the severe abuse she dealt with. After Sybil's prognosis, though some people may have not been honest about having the disease, the rate may have spiked do to the realization that DID is different from schizophrenia, which is actually quite a good thing. As far as Dr. Wilbur using her name for fame? That is blasphemy. She used her name to be credited in a much different way. She needed to use her name so people would realize that this was a real case, not something to be taken lightly. She wasn't doing it for fame or money, but simply so people would take the case much more seriously. Sybil's case was that of a scarred girl and a sincere doctor that stayed with her for eleven years to help her become a much stronger girl.

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  66. Sybil's case was, despite all controversy, an important step in understanding/treating people coming from situations similar to Sybil's. I do believe that Sybil's case was real, that she had in fact created more than one personality to cope with what she went through. I think that the number of D.I.D. diagnoses experienced a sudden and rapid inclination for a conglomerate of reasons such as; the idea was out there now, people in bad situations may hear of it and register, either subconsciously or consciously, a way to deal with what they're going through and attempt to duplicate it in themselves, I am sure attention-seeking copycats are a valid attribution to the rise in cases and it may be that seeing as Sybil made D.I.D. a "real" disorder it is being recognized and acknowledged more by professional psychologists.
    As for the relationship between Sybil and her therapist, Dr. Wilbur, every therapist has different methods of getting through to patients. Of course there are boundaries that are normally considered dangerous to cross, such as becoming close to a patient in a personal way, but there are, of course, cases where doing such a thing can greatly improve chances of successfully diagnosing and treating a patient. An important step in treating a psychologically ill patient can be in gaining their trust, forming a personal relationship with Sybil certainly helped Dr. Wilbur to accomplish this. Ultimately I believe D.I.D. to be a legitimate psychiatric disorder, but like many other mental disorders, can be difficult to identify and diagnose.

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  67. I think that Sybil most definitely was not a hoax. I would never waste eleven years of my life to try to plot out fame and plant evil memories in another persons head. Dr. Wilbur had a PhD and obviously knew what she was doing. Some people say that their relationship was unethical but I believe that Dr. Wilbur did what she had to do in order to cure Sybil. They spent so much time together so it would be hard to not get attached. Eleven years is a long time to try to cure and help a patient. And since Sybil has gone through so much it is also hard not to have any sympathy for her. They were obviously very close if Dr. W left Sybil money in her will when she passed. And I think thats that is fine because in the end, Sybil was cured and thats the big picture of things. I think that if you can work with a patient and it takes eleven years then they obviously have a problem. I think that the number of cases went up probably because people understood it and sought out help. I'm sure that there were copy cats as well. At least some good did come of this case because people could now understand it better and help those who really truly needed help just as Sybil did.

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  68. Many people may doubt that this actually happened. Some even say it might be made up just for financial gain. After watching the movie and researching the topic of DID I am convinced that it is a legitimate case. First off they kept her identity secret. So the gaining fame part is out of the question. Also why in the world would anyone want to make up all of this. It doesn't really benefit anyone by doing this. It is almost to crazy to make up in the first place so why write a book on it if it didn't have some truth to it. What gets my blood boiling is why Sybil's mother was deemed capable of raising a child. She was obviously crazy, I mean who goes catatonic for a summer. I just don't understand how the father could be oblivious to the whole matter. Couldn't he tell something was wrong. I really wish we could go back and witness a whole week at their house and see what it was like. I'm sure there were many signs that something was wrong. This whole case did shine light on this disorder and brought it to the forefront, which in turn sprung up many more cases. I'm sure many people had symptoms but where to afraid or scared to go to the shrink. After the movie people were more apt to share their problems with others. All in all think Sybil did more positive than negative no matter what people say. Thumbs up for Dr. Wilbur for sharing the case.

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  69. Sybil and her unique case intrigued me and at the same time appalled. The things Sybil went through, as a child and adult, and still able to come out of not quite smelling like a rose is amazing. Dr. Wilbur is a genius in my mind if she was able to cure Sybil of her 16 alters and bring the past back to haunt her for the rest of her life.
    The case has been in question by well known psychologist but that still does refute the fact that DID has became a psychological illness now. And people are diagnosed with it every year. Nonetheless what Dr. Wilbur did in that case opened the doors of psychology to many more possibilities.
    What Dr. Wilbur did and what Sybil had helped psychology a lot and even whilst in question no one can say that this case didn't change psychology forever.

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  70. After watching the movie learning about MPD or DID The case of Sybil is most definitely believable. For all she went though at such a young age I'm sure there was no faking necessary. I also agree with what Dr. Wilbur did, weather it raised red flags or not, it was the right thing to do, after all Shirley Mason turned her life around and started teaching. There is no way this would have been possible without the help of Dr. Wilbur. I also know that neither Dr Wilbur nor Shirley Mason did this to become famous, by the simple fact of all the information released in the book and the movie.

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  71. I think that what Dr. Wilbur did was a good thing. She really helped Mason with her work. I don't think that she could have dedicated 11 years of her life with Mason if she was in it just for the fame and money-- her leaving Mason $25000 shows that she didn't need the money. Although she became a friend to Mason which is frowned upon in professional situations like this, I think it was necessary for Mason's healing. As you have said in class before, Wilbur used her real name in the book and movie so that people could look it up and see it was a real psychiatrist with credentials. Curing Mason with psychoanalysis proved that it could be done. Also, I think that the increasing number of cases was both new awareness for the disease and copycats. Although it can't really be proven since it is a disease of consciousness, I think that professionals would be able to tell if someone really had DID or if they were just making it up.

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  72. After watching the movie and hearing passages out of the book, the case of "Sybil" in my eyes is not something that can be made up by any means. If it was made up, what exactly did Shirley go through as a child to become the way she was? Dissociative Identity Disorders are, I would say, one of the most serious disorders that a person can be diagnosed with. Being that "Sybil" was diagnosed with DID, her actions and ways of life are not something that could of very easily been made up either.
    The movie gave us a good image of pretty much what went on when "Sybil" was a young child and what exactly her mother put her through. "Sybil" was put through the worst case of child abuse I have ever heard of, and there is proof- her diagnosis. One of the biggest reasons we know this is because, being raped, being assaulted and any other kind of physical abuse is what usually occurs for a person to develop multiple personalities.

    I feel as though Dr. Wilbur may have broke the patient/doctor boundary, but "Sybil" had never seen love, affection or caring from anyone, except her grandmother, who wasn't around to see "Sybil" to grow up. After spending 11 years with someone, wouldn't you develop an attachment to them too? I mean, come on people.

    People will continue to talk about how this case isn't really real, or it never happened, but as stated before, this isn't something that can be made up. People may think that Dr. Wilbur crossed the line, and maybe she did, but neither her nor Mason were looking for any fame out of this. I give great credit to Dr. Wilbur for sticking with "Sybil" and helping her through one of th toughest things a person can go through.

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  73. Sybil was a documented case, but one has to wonder if the entire thing was fake. There really is no conclusive proof that Sybil had this disorder, not saying that she wasn't abused because there was obviously damage in her life. But one has to wonder if Dr. Wilbur was merely money hungry. she never published her case study, she wrote a book instead. Books make more money than a case study would have made. She made a movie to corroborate the story. During interviews other psychiatrists said that Sybil was very suggestible to certain things and that she said that Dr. Wilbur was very manipulative. Not saying that it's made up but with all the money and notoriety that this case one has to wonder if there were "evil prospers" at foot.

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  74. I believe that the MPD does exist. Yes, it’s almost impossible to prove, but it’s hard to believe that Dr. Wilber or Sybil would make it all up. What would their motivation be? Attention? I’m sure Shirley didn’t what to be remembered for having such a horrific life. Money? It seems a little too far-fetched. Some people also say that Dr. Wilber crossed too many professional lines, but it was what Sybil needed. Dr. Wilber did what she thought she had to help her patient. I find it hard to believe that anyone could stay emotionally unattached when seeing someone go through what Sybil did.

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  75. I honestly do believe that MPD/DID does exist. Although hard, almost impossible, to prove, their is an existence. As far as Sybil being a real multiple, I find it very, very, hard to believe that she wasn't a truthfully one. The thoughts, memories, that she had suppressed that caused the alters to come alive, were much to vivid, to sick, for any person to imagine on their own, without any real happening of the event. The question of Dr.Wilbur being unethical I think is a little harsh. She wasn't being unethical by any means, maybe nonprofessional, however it's what her patient, Sybil, needed in order to get better. Sybil was an extraordinary case, with so much trauma, I think Dr.Wilbur's attack at healing her was perfect. After "Sybil" was released, it caused much controversy. Between the level of DID cases increasing dramatically, and the thought that Dr.Wilbur only let it happen to get rich off of it. No way, was this movie made for money. What person would want to relive a horrid time in their life, in order to make money off it? And I find it hard to believe one person would push to have these sick details revealed just to get rich. I think it was purely to draw attention and awareness to DID; as it did. Noting how the number of cases rose in the decades after, I think it had much to do with the awareness of the disease, but I also won't ignore the fact that Sally Field did an incredible job portraying it, that i'm sure others attempted the same. The movie was powerful and disturbing at the same time. I don't think a movie could be as disturbing as this, as a portrayal of a real persons life, without any real events.

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  76. The story of "Sybil" is most definitely a true story. Just like a lot of others questioned; who would waste 11 years of their time just to hope to get a book written about them. Before actually reading in on the case of Sybil I had find it very hard to believe that someone could actually have that many personalities and it actually be true. After watching the movies and reading parts in the book, I don't see how anyone could even think someone would be able to make up something like that. The relationship between Dr. Wilbur had with Sybil was necessary. Sybil needed the kind of attention Dr. Wilbur was able to give her.

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  77. I believe that the story of "Sybil" is true and MPD and DID are real. I don't think someone would be able make something like that up for 11 years. I also do not believe that Dr. Wilbur was not in it for the money. I agree that Dr. Wilbur would not be able to give up 11 years of her life if she didn't care. I definitely think that is was appropriate how close Wilbur and Sybil's relationship became. Sybil needed that type of love Dr.Wilbur was able to give her. The things Sybil had claimed her mother did to her was just too awful for someone to make them up. I do believe that the result of something that caused severe trauma, MPD, or as we know it today, DID, is the outcome of that.

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  78. I believe that DID is a real disorder that people suffer from whether it can be proven or not, and i do believe that Shirley Mason really did suffer from it. Doctor Wilbur may have pushed some doctor/patient boundaries but I believe this was a unique case that required that in order to truly help Sybil. Had she not, Sybil may not have been cured from DID, as she needed someone to show her the love she never got from her mother. I also do not think neither Shirley or Dr. Wilbur exposed this case for there own personal benefits. They helped other people who suffer from DID by shedding light on what it is and how it can be treated.

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  79. I think that is a true case of DID. It would be too hard for her to fake this disorder and i can't see any motivation for Sybil to fake it. In Sybil's case i think that it was necessary for Sybil to have a friend figure that she could rely on and trust to be able to "cure" her disorder, so i think that it was ok for Doctor Wilber to become close to Sybil. Some people might have tried to copy cat DID to get attention based on the "blue prints" the film and book presented, but I think that the rise in DID could have been for the most part genuine due to increased knowledge of the disorder, leading to less miss diagnosis. I think that the film and book was a good way to open people's eyes to DID and i also think that even though you can not scientifically achieve physical evidence of this disorder I believe it to be a genuine disorder, in most cases.

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  80. I think Dr. Wilbur did cross some doctor/patient boundaries, but I also think that Sybil needed her friendship. What Sybil went through is inconceivable, and I couldn't imagine going through it without a good friend by my side, helping me out. In regards to psychiatric treatment, it’s about doing what it takes to make the patient better, and if some boundaries have to be broken, then that’s what has to be done.
    I do think that MPD does exist even though it is very difficult to prove. After the Sybil movie was produced, I do believe that a lot of people pretending to have MPD have caused the public to be skeptical of its existence. Also, why would Dr. Wilbur and Sybil want to make up their case? There just doesn't seem to be any real motivation. Why would Sybil want to be remembered for having such a horrible affliction? For the money? I suppose, but how could they be so sure they would become so famous and make lots of money?
    I think that their willingness to share this story really was a courageous act that really helped bring MPD to light.

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  81. I believe that DID is in fact possible. It seems to make sense for the mind of a person going through that much emotional trauma to block and divide memories into different hosts that we call alters. That way the person never consciously has to face the pain or fear of the memories. But how the mind can take control and create the unimaginable alters blows my mind. I don't think that any of the criticism is necessary about Dr. Wilbur. For one i believe it was necessary for Dr. Wilbur to create a relationship with "Sybil". If she hadn't I don't think it would have been possible for Dr. Wilbur to even begin to get into her mind and try to figure out what was going on in there. If there was not a relationship "Sybil" would not have trusted her enough to open up to some of the more serious things. It is obvious to me that Dr. Wilbur did not just take the case for fame and fortune because Dr.Wilbur wouldn't have actually stayed with her for 11 years or helped her out financially during that time period because Sybil didn't have the money to really pay for the sessions with her.

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  82. It's really hard to believe that someone's personality could be that fractured. That said, Sybil's case probaly was real. If half the things her mother did to her actually happened, then i could see how someone could just,split apart like that. The influx of cases after the study was made public could be people finally relizing what's wrong with them, but it more likely that they were just copycats. I'm not going to blame the patients entirley though. It could also be psychologists trying to get a piece of Dr. Wilbur's fame that she recieved form the case, misdiagnosing patients.

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  83. I will take the position that the information released about the case by Dr. Wilbur and Shirley Mason herself (it was mentioned that they collaborated in providing information for the book) is highly questionable for two reasons.

    The first of these is obvious: Shirley Mason could have been acting, perhaps out of an unfulfilled need for attention. In this case, Shirley Mason would have been eager to verify and even provide false information for the book and the public in general, in order that Dr. Wilbur herself would not learn the truth. Indeed, if Dr. Wilbur published such information, would it not strengthen Wilbur's commitment to believing in the information? Admittedly, maintaining such an elaborate pretense through 11 years of counseling seems unlikely, but I ask you this: Does such that occurrence really seem less likely than the existence of multiple, mentally independent personalities within a single person?

    The second of these reasons is simply this: psychiatric sessions are perfectly confidential. Since any credible information released to the public must be under the mutual consent of doctor and patient, it would be easy to falsify if those two parties wished it to be so.

    The argument that others have offered against this is the monetary investment of Dr. Wilbur, and the temporal investment of both parties. But they could have been doing literally anything during the sessions; for example, they could have been having interactions typical of friends, or perhaps more...exotic interactions.

    It could have been that Dr. Wilbur and Shirley Mason created the story of Sybil as a joint economic venture. This would explain why they shared the profits from the book and the movie, and the $25,000 dollars from Dr. Wilbur's will could have been the final portion of her "share", or even an arrangement made in the original "deal" between Mason and Wilbur.

    So I ask you: Was Sybil's case an inspiring and poignant true story? Or a brilliant creation of Dr. Wilbur and Shirley Mason in order to achieve wealth and fame? It is likely that we will never know.

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  85. I believe that the case of Sybil was in a no way a plot to get fame and fortune. Who would want to become famous for being an abused person with 16 different personalities. That's definitely not something that i would want my name connected to. Also, if this was just a hoax, why would they go to such extreme measures?

    To answer the question on why there was a skyrocket in people being diagnosed with MPD is because either those people were the real ones who were searching for fame or the movie made them realize the possibility that they could have the disorder too. Either way there had to of been something going on with them mentally.

    Sybil's case is unique, but I believe it must be true. After all, there was just so much pain and heartache that went into the making of both the book and the movie that it would be just so mind boggling to think that it was all made up. The true answers to these questions will most likely never be known. Until they are, the mystery and infamy of "Sybil" will live on.

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  86. Sybil case is to complexes for someone to makeup and keep all the main facts straight and for so many years. All the things her mother did to Sybil seemed to me that they would be scaring somewhere on Sybil to add to the case that the whole story is true. Do I think that Dr. Wilbur cross an ethics line in her relationship with Sybil, yes but not to the point of endangerment. In a medical doctor ethics she did cross the line but Sybil did not need physical help she need a friend more. Dr. Wilbur did what she had too to help Sybil move on with her life. It would probably never be know what real happen to Sybil case do to confutations, but it seem that if Sybil wanted people to know what happen the she would have told people about it.

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  87. Yes there are flaws in the Sybil case. The numbers of cases of MPD/DID did increase after the case was publicized. Dr. Wilbur did make money of the book and movie. All of those are true, but don't you think that the number of cases increased because there was more knowledge about the disorder. The book was the only way Dr. Wilbur could publish her findings. Due to MPD/DID not being in the DSM, not many Medical Journals wanted to publish Dr. Wilbur's findings. Her having a book written ended up getting it in the DSM. Plus 11 years is a long time to make up stuff just to have a book made and get money for it. Even though many can find flaws in the Sybil case i believe it to be true.

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  88. The Shirley Mason (Sybil) D.I.D case is one that will grab the attention of many future generations to come. A huge part of this attention is the sexual, physical, and verbal abuse from Sybil's mother and the detrimental effect it had on her psyche. There are obviously going to be critics of this case and show their opposition of Dr. Wilburs work. Personally I do believe that she got much to close to Sybil on a personal basis, despite that perhaps being the only way to treat the case. Her success obviously validates her actions. Although Dr. Wilbur may not have been seeking fame it sought her out. This was the OJ Simpson case of Dissociative Identity Disorders. I most definitely agree that Sybil had this disease but I also agree that it is nearly impossible to have a perfect and clear cut definition of the disease. The spike after the Sybil movie came out I conclude was in part because D.I.D (with good acting is "mimicable." It could be used for example as a plea in court that, "wasn't me my alter did it". The value of the Sybil case though is invaluable. The public as well as trained professionals can take something away from the case and know that D.I.D is a very real, and very serious disorder.

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  89. 1. When I first hear Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I don’t think that is really possible because I don’t believe that someone can pretend to have so many personalities. However, after I watched the movie “sybil”, which changed my mind. The reason, is in the movie, they record each of the personalities sybil has and all treatment the psychiatrist Dr. wilbur use. For example, Psychoanalysis, hypnosis. it helped me to understand the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s a good movie to learn about multiply personality’s disorder.

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  90. I had never heard of any cases of M.P.D really untill i watched this film. I believe that sibil was truly having this disorder, because i know when something truly horrific and terrible happends in your life and you cant cope with it you have to do something. I know this for a fact and i have never had anything so tramatic that ive had to "block" it out or if i had then it is true. Also with Dr. Wilbur i feel she did treat sybil personally, but in saying that the state sybil was in she had to be person. For example one of her personallitys truely wanted to end it all. I feel like Dr. Wilbur kept sybil frome ending it all.

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  91. I do believe that the case of Sybil is true. I cannot imagine sOmeone faking such a horrible thing for such a long time. Her psychiatrist had her best intentions, because she did not know that she would become famous with this case and seemed to really care for Sybil. The spike in DID cases probably was due to the fact that many people love attention and fame and figured that I'd sybil became so famous from it that they could also. I think the psychiatrist did what she had to do and couldn't really follow the 'rules' on how to treat someone with Sybil because she was a very unusual and she needed special treatment

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  92. I don’t think Sybil’s case was a lie. I don’t think Dr. Wilbur would plan an 11 year long ordeal for a book and money deal. Why waste that much time for something so small? It’s sad that people feel the need to assume the worst in someone who did an amazing thing by helping such a sick woman. Add to that, she split the proceeds with Sybil. I believe that Dr. Wilbur genuinely wanted to help Sybil and get this disorder understood and recognized. As for the fact that the two became and remained friends, why is it such a problem? Yes, I understand that things should be kept professional, however, in a case like Sybil’s, the only thing someone like her needs is to know that love does exist and not everyone is a monster like her mother.
    For the dramatic increase in case numbers of DID I think that some were legit cases that were undiagnosed previously only because there wasn’t a name to place with the problem. I do believe that a percentage of the rate of new cases were attention seekers.

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  93. The case of Sybil was very extraordinary in many ways. It was one of the first documented cases of dissociate identity disorder and it also helped showed people what this disease initials. In my opinion there is no question of the validity of this case. Wilbur’s tactics for helping cure Sybil were very controversial as well. Many people believe that she shouldn't have become so close with Sybil. I think that what really helped Sybil was the fact that Dr. Wilbur did cross the lines of friendship and truly did love Sybil.

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  94. I don't think this case was a fraud. It isn't possible for someone to fake a disorder that well for that many years. The case was studied way to long for it to be fake, it went on for 11 years, who is gonna go through therapy that long if they don't really have the disorder. A lot of people think it was wrong of Dr. Wilbur to grow such a close bond with Sybil, but it didn't do any harm. She still cured Sybil. It would be hard to have visits with someone almost every day for 11 years and not have some sort of bond with them.

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  95. The case is tough to prove either way. I think it could have been made up yet at the same time there is stuff that shows just the opposite. I am honestly undecided about that. it could go both ways. The story is still an amazing one and serves as a major guideline in psychology and mental health even today.

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  96. The true story of Sybil is even stranger and more fascinating than the book or the movie--which were largely hoaxes. To learn what really happened to Shirley Ardell Mason when she was a child and when she went into therapy with Dr. Wilbur, read "Sybil Exposed," to be published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster in October 2011. Everything in this new book is backed up by records that include those of Shirley's therapy. The facts will astound you.

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  97. I do believe that Sybil was a true multiple, because well it doesn't seem as if it would be that easy to pretend to be a multiple. Especially since she was in therapy with Dr. Wilbur for eleven years. I don't believe it would be possible for something to fake something so sever for so long. Although there was a doctor/patient relationship going on and people frowned upon that, but how else would Dr. Wilbur have gotten where she did with Sybil if she was that nice to her? If Dr. Wilbur treated Sybil like every other patient then she wouldn't have gotten better because she wouldn't have gotten what she needed. Which would someone that actually treated her nice and stuck with that and stuck with her through everything. Now if someone stuck with someone for eleven years and tried to help that patient out, then why would they want to sell the story to make money? Understanding the reason behind why Dr. Wilbur wanted to have Sybil's story published, so that people would know that MPD/DID is really.

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  99. The case of Shirley Ardell Mason, was both a tragedy and amazing. Shirley aka Sybil was abused by her mother so to help cope with the abuse Sybil made up other personalities she had 16 different personalities. She had to create the personalities because what her mother did to her was just so terrible. Sybil had therapy sessions with Dr Cornelia Wilber. There is alot of controversy surrounding her methods to helping Sybil. I think what Dr Wilber needed to do was love Sybil and care for her and that is what she did. That helped Sybil because she never knew love cause her mother abused her and never loved her.

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  100. I do believe that Shirley had DID, but most of the personalities were finally "brought-to-life" during therapy. Dr. Wilbur was in no way unethical by developing a close relationship with Shirley. As you said, "It would be unnatural for somebody not to grow close to a person that they've known for over 11 years!" I believe that the close relationship is what led to Shirley's treatment. I don't think she would've even bothered to repress or share those horrid with memories with somebody that she didn't trust. I think that this is just an attempt to continue to deny that DID is a real mental disease. I think the number of cases of DID/MPD sky-rocketed because Shirley was the first patient to have extreme symptoms and complications due to the physical/mental torture she received as a child. I don't think the medical world knew what caused DID them before Shirley, or the consequences the disease could bring to somebody's life and the harm to other people's lives. I believe that Sally Field's acting performance is what led to a common ideal know throughout the world. The book may have interested lots of readers, but the movie always attracts more people. I believe the book has advanced the diagnosis and understanding of the mental-disorder, but people are now aware on how to fake this disease. Why? Because they could use at as an excuse in court or some other setting. I believe it is a valid diagnosis because we can proved today if people are lying or not due to being trained in deception. Maybe back then people could get away with it, but today, you can't fool psychologists or juries do to the information and resources they have available. I believe that the movie is really twisted just for TV and in the 70s. Just the thought of her having a enema bag being plunged up into her bladder and filled with Lysol is just enough to make me want to shiver. I don't understand why this move was only "made for TV"? It definitely is kind of graphic in a mental thought and it should easily been shown in nationwide theaters. The movie does irritate me at times with the way Dr. Wilburn acts towards Sybil and her other personalities. She is constantly talking in a soft voice, babying her, and really doesn't seem to be that much worried as Sybil continues to progress into a terrified state-of-being.

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  101. To look at “Sybil’s” case fairly you must go into the subject believing in this disorder. If you watch the movie, or read the book, and aren’t aware of the disorder then the tragic story will probably seem like complete fiction. Although MPD/DID may be extremely difficult to diagnose I do see it as a valid disorder. This difficulty in diagnosis occurs in many psychological disorders because nothing in the brain is always black and white, so the disorder can’t be written off just because of its difficulty. This being said, just as I believe in MPD/DID as a valid disorder, I believe “Sybil” was a true alter.
    One reason I believe “Sybil” was a true multiple is the fact that her therapy went on for so long. To say that “Sybil” could trick a certified psychiatrist for that long, is similar to saying that Dr. Wilbur wasn’t that great at her job. Because psychiatrists are trained to see true symptoms in patients I truly believe that it would have been impossible to fool Dr. Wilbur for eleven long years. Some people may have been able to fool a doctor for a short while, but in eleven years it would have been impossible for “Sybil” not to have slipped up at least once.
    Some criticism Dr. Wilbur received was the fact that her and “Sybil’s” doctor/patient relationship turned into a friendship. I really don’t see how they could have worked together for that long, and not become friends. For instance if Dr. Wilbur was to have heard all the torture “Sybil” went through throughout her childhood, it would be almost cruel to not show her some compassion. Some people could see Dr. Wilbur as acting as “Sybil’s” mother in a way, which would also not be ethical in the psychiatric world. But after hearing how “Sybil” really didn’t have a mother figure, I think any female’s maternal instincts would kick in and make them want to act motherly. I also believe that the only way to get through to “Sybil” was to be a friend/mother towards her. If Dr. Wilbur was a cold, stone faced doctor it would have been impossible for her to break down “Sybil’s” walls.
    Another criticism of this story is that once it came out, there was a steep rise in the reported cases of MPD/DID. My answer to this is that this case shined a huge light on this disorder. Before this story was told not very many people saw this as a true disorder. Because of “Sybil’s” case more people actually knew about the disorder and not only did people know it was valid, but doctors also knew what to look for. Because of this landmark case more people could now be diagnosed with what their true disorder.

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  103. I definitely believe that Sybil was a true multiple and that Dr. Wilbur did not do anything unethical by becoming her close friend. First of all, it would be extremely hard for someone to pretend they had multiply personalities especially over eleven years and why would they want to put themselves through that? Most people would not and could not pretend they have MPD and if by some chance they do they would not be able to keep it up for eleven years. Secondly, Dr. Wilbur having worked with Sybil for so long and Sybil’s case being so unusal it would be pretty heartless for her not to get close to Sybil. Also, this case was unique and I believe it required Dr. Wilbur getting close to Sybil because if she hadn’t Sybil wouldn’t have trusted her or told her as much. Sybil needed Dr. Wilbur’s friendship and I believe that is what helped Sybil overcome her MPD.I don’t think Dr. Wilbur was it in for money and or fame either because she was already very well-known and she was not hurting for money. I think she just wanted people to become aware of MPD because most people did not know what it was or that it even existed. I think the number of MPD skyrocketed after this case was published because many people hadn’t known what MPD even was before this case. Most of the time psychologist diagnosed people with MPD as schizophrenia’s. However, after this case was publicized people and psychologists learned more about MPD and had a better understanding of it there for more people could be diagnosed with it. I believe that MPD is a valid diagnosis and I believe Sybil really did have MPD which came from her abuse as a child. As a child she just couldn't understand why her mother would hurt her like she did so she created these alters to protect her from the hurt and through the eleven years of therapy she was finally able to face the truth and recover.

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  104. I whole- heartedly believe that Shirley Mason had a real case of Multiple Personality Disorder/ Dissociative Identity Disorder. Why would someone waste 11 years of their life acting crazy for no reason other than in hopes of gaining fame? Doctor Wilbur would not make something up for 11 years and plant alters into “Sybil’s” memory, because it would have majorly risked her career as a doctor if someone found out she actually was making it all up. Also, why would someone make up horrible things that happened to them as a child, and want fame for that? I know I would never pretend that I was abused, or want my name connected at all to the stuff she went through.

    I believe that it was perfectly fine that Dr. Wilbur got close to Shirley and formed a lifelong friendship, in their unique situation. I think it would have been weirder if they had not became friends after spending 11 long years together trying to help “Sybil” get better. How can you not become close to someone after 11 long years? “Sybil” needed someone there for her during her therapy, and Dr. Wilbur was right in becoming a good friend to her. I don’t think that “Sybil” would have gotten better had it not been for Dr. Wilbur developing an extreme care and love for her.

    I think that when “Sybil’s” case came out into the public, the number of cases of MPD, or DID skyrocketed mostly because there was suddenly a new understanding and greater awareness of the disease. Doctors started to realize that people who they had previously diagnosed with schizophrenia probably more likely had DID, so the number of cases went up. Again, I don’t see why people would copy how Sally Field acted in the film, just to be diagnosed with the disease; it just doesn’t seem logical to me. I don’t think that DID is too difficult to prove, because you can tell if someone has it by various symptoms, especially if the person suffered traumatic experiences in life. “Sybil’s” case should be taken seriously, as it is one of the worst cases of child abuse ever, and should not be considered a claim to fame.

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  105. Sybil, a person with sixteen alters (personalities), nobody would think that would be possible when first hearing this. Sybil's mom having a mental illness, was harming Sybil physically and mentally which caused her to be a mutiple, creating different personalites to cope with the trama. Sybil went through eleven years of therapy with Dr. Wilbut; it would be extremely hard to fake something like this and why would you put yourself through it. If it was fake I think through eleven years Dr. Wilbur would have been able to notice that she was faking. Sybil's case is a true multiple. To get through this, Sybil needed someone she could trust and a mother figure. Dr. Wilbur was not unethical to become so close to Sybil; it was what was needed for Sybil. It was not professional to be so close but I think if they were not so close Sybil would not have been so open and comfortable with Dr. Wilbur. If you spent eleven years with somebody, you would get attached to, it is hard not to get attached knowing what this person has gone through and that your the only person they have had for a while. Using psychoanalysis and hypnosis on Sybil allowed her to recover her younger years and face what had happen, so she would remember the storys but not be afraid of dishtowels and button hooks anymore. Dr. Wilbur's diagnosis allowed awareness of the disease to people. People could have been misdiagnosed as schizophrenia when really that had MPD, but the psychiatrist didn't know of MPD. Skyrocketing of the case amounts was a majority of awareness and understanding of MPd, but also i believe people did fake this disorder but as well as other disorders, people fake them to. Personally I think Wilbur was doing this to help Sybil, it was not a scam for to get money. Wilbur was highley focused on Sybil during the eleven years, and just wanted to help her. If Dr. Wilbur, had done Sybil's case for money, why would she give Sybil money, and have Sybil inherit money when she died. Wilbur was already a highly known psychiatrist in New York, and wasn't needing money. The story of Sybil, is heartbreaking; how could a mom put their kid through such tragity. If Sybil's mom did really have schizophrenia, how did she know just to treat Sybil with such hearlessness, when nobody was around. I believe Sybil's child doctor should have suspected something going in with all the odd causes of visits to him. You also would think that the dad would have suspected something going on between Sybil and her mom with the way she acted scared of her and other objects. Sybil's case of MPD/DID is valid and will never be forgotten.

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  106. I do believe that Sybil was a genuine multiple, and that Dr. Wilbur did the right thing by being there for Sybil and supporting her through her struggles. In my opinion the reason for the increase of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID is the fact that the awareness and knowledge of the disease was increased there for more doctors were able to properly diagnose their patients with MPD/DID. I don’t think that just because people saw how to act out the disease in a movie that people started doing it. If there aren’t any obvious things about the patient that makes it seem fake then I would say it’s a legitimate and diagnosable disease.

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  107. I had never heard of the movie or person "Sybil" before we watched it in class, and I was very surprised and shocked to see what this woman endured. I had heard of Multiple Personalities before, but this movie showed it in a whole different perspective. In many ways, Sybil shows how destructive abuse can be, and how one's changing mind can screw up your identity forever. As a child, nobody should have to go through what Sybil had to go through. It was sickening to watch. However, when looking at it from an alternate perspective, the development of alters in DID or MPD is in fact a genius idea as a coping method, especially for a young child. But, the sad truth is, you will eventually have to deal with this trauma because some emotions and memories are too intense to experience, especially if the individual is a young child like Sybil. As a young child, your consciousness is not yet developed enough to processes emotional and physical abuse on a daily basis. The creation of alters is a method to block out these experiences, allowing for the individual to be emotionally stable. While not a perfect solution, this method can preserve one's sanity until the memories can be processed. Overall, this movie portrayed DID in a different way which made it easier to understand, and interesting to learn about.

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  108. I believe that Sybil was a true multiple. I don't think that Dr. Wilbur did anything wrong by creating a friendship with Sybil. She spent many years trying to cure Sybil, anyone would become attached. Even after the fame and fortune they stayed friends, which I think proves Dr. Wilbur was really there for Sybil. I think the number of MPD/DID cases increased after this specific case because this was such a huge and grossing case that was known all around. Some doctors realized they may have diagnosed patients with the wrong disorder. It mainly got confused with Schizophrenia. This case allowed doctors to understand what this disorder was and what some of the symptoms were. I believe Sybil's case was true and she was not acting. She had a long and depressing childhood and she suppressed those memories through her alters. I also don't believe that people saw Sybil's acting job and realized how to act like you have MPD. Doctors just started to realize there were more cases of this disorder.

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  109. The case of Shirley Mason is a tragic story that is true. Dr. Wilbur would not have wasted her time, eleven years, on Shirley if she did not have DID. I do believe that Shirley was a true multiple. Why would she make up such horrible things and keep up an act for eleven years. It just does not make sense. Dr. Wilbur did the right thing by helping Shirley. Maybe some may think it was unethical. But what else was she suppose to do. How can you not want to comfort Shirely after all the terrible things that has happened in her life. Comforting her helped cure her in ways. Some alters were afraid of people so without Dr. Wilbur being close to friends with her, Shirley may not have been cured. The reason why after DID was diagnosed skyrocketed was because Doctors realized that some Schizophrenics were actually DID. The movie and book did give people a new understanding of DID. I believe Sally Field's did portray a DID very well. But that does not mean there should be a bunch of copycats trying to get attention to make money off a movie or book. This was an actual true story and neither Dr. Wilbur nor Shirley was trying to make money off it. I do believe DID is a valid diagnoses. When something tragic happens to a person when they are young it is easier to make up someone then to try to understand why it would happen to him or herself. It is a way of protection.

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  110. I think that Sybil was a true multiple. She used her sixteen different alters to cope with what her mother had done to her when she was a child. Using her different alters helped her to cope with the trama and fear of what her mother did to her. I think that Dr. Wilbur did not do anything unethical in becoming a close friend with Sybil. I think after spending eleven years with her I would become a close friend with her.Dr. Wilbur became a close friend with Sybil to help her get cured with her MPD. Sybil needed someone to comfort her and to love her. She never got that from her mother, her mom was to mentally ill to spend time to love her the way Dr. Wilbur did. I think that Dr. Wilbur was not trying to get money from Sybil's case. I believe she was truly trying to help Sybil get cured from her disorder. I believe that MPD/DID is true disorder because no one would fake to be crazy. Why would someone want to go through all that trouble to act like they were crazy to get atension from somebody.

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  111. Before watching the movie “Sybil” I had never heard about the case, but based on the movie and parts of the book we heard, I have to say I think MPD is a real disorder and that Sybil’s case was also real. If Sybil had made up the whole story I don’t think she would’ve ever thought of the terrible things her mother did to her. Every one of her alters were a defense mechanism from the horrible memories she had of her mother, and I don’t think that’s something she could’ve faked. I also don’t think that Dr. Wilbur faked any of it even though some people might disagree. She was a well-respected psychiatrist before Sybil came to her, and if anything she had more to lose by coming out with this case, because I’m sure she knew the controversy that could come from it. She took Sybil under her wing and worked with her for 11 years, hoping to help her face these memories and leave them in the past once and for all so she could live a “normal” life. Although a lot of people criticize the way Dr. Wilbur formed a friendship with her patient I think it would be almost impossible not to. How could she have worked with Sybil for 11 years and helped her through the things she helped her through and not form a friendship. I personally would be more worried if Dr. Wilbur hadn’t become friends with Sybil over time, because if she didn’t seem to care at that point I would begin to wonder if she was in it for money or something else. Even though the number of cases skyrocketed after this was publicized, I think that is purely because it was the first case of it. If MPD/DID wasn’t a real disorder how else do you explain these people who have all these different alters. It would be an extremely hard disorder to fake without messing up accidentally and being the wrong alter at the wrong time, especially someone like Sybil who had 16 of them. I don’t think that there is any other way to describe Sybil and patients like her without MPD/DID.

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  112. I definitely believe that Sybil was a true multiple. She was the person who pretty much created what it was like to be someone suffering from MPD/DID. When you work with the same patient for 11 years and are on call all the time, it probably would be really hard and a little harsh to not become friends when that patient actually becomes well again. She didn’t really have any friends because of her illness and couldn’t hold down a job. Dr. Wilbur did the right thing when becoming friends with her along the way. The number of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed after this case was publicized because before no one even knew that such a thing existed. People were being wrongfully diagnosed with Schizophrenia when in reality they could’ve been suffering from MPD/DID. Also it is very possible that some people were attention-seekers and copied Sally Field’s portrayal of the disease. I don’t think that MPD/DID is too difficult to prove because if you work with the particular patient long enough you could tell if he or she was just faking it. You could also hypnotize him or her to see if he or she actually have a traumatic experience or something of that sort that he or she were covering up as a cause to the disorder. I don’t think that this case is a claim to fame for Dr. Wilbur because she was already a pretty accomplished doctor before this case was introduced to the public.

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  113. In my opinion this case was handled in the best way possible. This was a unique case that had to be treated in a way that isn’t the “norm”. Since “Sybil” wasn’t treated with love and care throughout basically her entire life, Dr. Wilbur had to give that to her in order to get into her deepest, most painful memories. When you treat someone for that long and it becomes your life’s work it would be a little irrational to not have some sort of relationship with that patient; this was not unethical at all. I also do believe that “Sybil” was a true multiple. Over 11 years someone would have caught the act if there was one and no person would make up those bizarre things that her mother did to her. In my opinion, the number of cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed after this case was shown in the movie and book because there was more of an awareness of the disorder and more people began to seek help or someone may have referred them to do so. This was defiantly because of the popularity of the book and later the movie because if this was just published in a medical journal then the average person would not have known about it. Sally Field also did an amazing job portraying the 16 different personalities of “Sybil”. Both the detail of the book and her acting played huge role in making this disorder public. I think that MPD/DID is a legitimate disorder but would totally be hard to prove. It’s a unique disorder that has to be treated with care because these patients have obviously been through a traumatic event or in “Sybil’s” case, events.

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  114. In my opinion i definitely think sybil was a true multiple. I don't think someone would just make up 16 different personalities for the attention. Sybil used her different personalities to cope with her childhood memories. She had a different personality for everything. It was interesting to watch how something could remind her of her childhood and she would become one of her 16 personalities. I dont think that Dr. Wilbur was wrong by becoming close with sybil. That was the best way for sybil to be "cured". Sybil needed to be shown love and thats what Dr. Wilbur did, she showed her not to be scared of everyone because of something someone else did to her. I dont think Dr.Wilbur did any of this for her own self fame. She did it to help someone who was desperate for help.When you are working with the same patient for 11 years straight, 24/7 you create a bond with that person, especially when you go through as much as Dr.Wilbur did with Sybil. I think the number of diagnosed DID cases went up since the movie because of the new awareness and understanding of the disorder, not because of it was an opportunity for attention seeking copycats. I believe it would take a long time to be able to 100% prove that someone has MPD/DID. Anyone can just make up that they have different personalities, or that they have a problem but it would take alot of time, and care to prove that they do actually have MPD/DID.

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  115. I believe Dr. Wilbur did everything the right way, and cured Sybil. She wouldn’t have been able to help Sybil if she didn’t show affection or caring. She became very involved in Sybil's life, and that’s what made it easier for Dr. Wilbur to help Sybil. After all Sybil went through I do believe she was a true multiple. I feel Dr. Wilbur needed to become very close with Sybil to understand what she was going through, and had gone through. I dont think Dr. Wilbur would have been able to help her otherwise. I beleive people started to look at the diagnosis like it was a cure for all of there problems, plus it attracted attention. Once it attracted attention people, could start to make money off of it. I do beleive it is a valid diagnosis, but it is also very hard to beleive because you arent in that persons shoes, and having not experienced it yourself how would you know.

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  116. My opinion on the "Sybil" case is that this case is vary true. Some people may think by just hearing the phrase MPD or DID automatically assume that it's false, but you have to hear the whole story to realize that this is a very serious disorder.
    I do believe that Sybil was a multiple. The way she was treated as a kid makes it very possible to have alters. She was afraid to do anything. She thought that whatever she did or said would make her mother want to hit her or do other horrible things to her. So having these alters would protect the things she loved to do. She spent about eleven years with Dr. Wilbur tiring to cope with this disorder. To me thats a very long time to spend with a psychiatrist. In that time I'm pretty sure that Dr. Wilbur would have figured it out if Sybil was faking it ,but in this case Sybil wasn't.
    People say that it was unethical for Dr. Wilbur to become such close friends with Sybil, but they were together for eleven years trying to figure out this disorder. In that time it would become impossible not to become friends. When you're together for that long, you can't just have a "Hi" "Bye" relationship. Also she didn't have any nurture as a child, or good bonding with her mother. The only time she bonded with her mother is when she did horrible things to her and thats not bonding, so Dr. Wilbur had to just give her something that she had never had before.
    After this case had reached the public, there was a steep rise in cases. This is probably because people didn't really think or believe that this could be a disorder. Or if they thought it was, how would you treat them. But when hearing about this case it made people want to research and try to resolve this disorder with what Dr. Wilbur did with Sybil.

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  118. To start off, I don't understand how someone that is supposed to be a young child's only protection could do these horrible things to the child. I feel that this case should have been famous, so that people could understand what some people go through with DID . There wasn't a way that someone could go through eleven years of treatment to not be a true multiple, I don't feel that someone could just fake having this disorder. What Wilbur did to "cure" Sybil I feel was the only way that she could have been cured, she had gone through life not knowing what love felt like, so Wilbur's only choice to become loving and caring like the mother that Sybil never had. I think that the amount of DID patients sky rocketed after this book and movie came out because they became aware that this is a disorder, and that treatment is a good idea for them. DID is a real mental disorder, I feel this way because it hinders what someone can do in their life. Anyone that can sit and say that Wilbur did this for a financial gain needs to do some more research, she had to have been making enough money to have an office in NY, so I don't feel that she needed much more money, and she ended up giving most of the money from the movie and book to Sybil. Great movie, great story that needed to be told, no matter who likes it.

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  119. When we first began watching the movie “Sybil,” it shocked me that someone could have so many different personalities. As you get further and further into the movie you begin to understand why this case was so important and why it was the first case of Disassociated Identity Disorder to be documented. This was such a severe case because of all the damage Sybil had while growing up. Some people may disagree and say the way Doctor Wilbur chose to help her was unethical because she let herself get so close to a patient. I don’t agree with that. I think it would have been hard not to get attached and want to help someone that has this problem.
    I do believe that Sybil was a true case of having multiple personalities. She had such terrible experiences growing up that she didn’t want to remember them as Sybil so as a grown up she managed to not deal with them by having more than one personality.
    In my opinion I don’t think that Dr. Wilbur did anything unethical as Sybil’s Psychiatrist. She became so close to Sybil because she felt her pain she could see the pain that her childhood brought and she wanted to do anything to fix it. Since Sybil never had the true feeling of having a loving mom Wilbur tried to comfort her so Sybil could have that comfort feeling.
    I think that the number of MPD/DID skyrocketed after this case was published because more and more people began to question whether they have the same symptoms as Sybil. Other Psychiatrists also may have seen this movie or read the book could have begun to question their patients based on what Sybil went through. If they saw similar cases where their patients can recall being abused as children they can relate to what Sybil dealt with.
    I don’t believe that the film or book was a way for them to get attention. I believe that the film did a good job at sharing to the world the life of someone that suffers with this disease. I don’t think anyone was trying to be a copy cat in anyway but they were trying to take this case and make it public so they could have people understand multiple personality disorder.
    I do believe that MPD/DID is a valid diagnosis because it isn’t normal for a person to experience so many different feelings but be afraid to show them that they need to have other people in their bodies come out. Another reason I believe this to be a valid disorder is because most the cases of DID that have occurred have been linked significant events that has happened in their life. I think with the professional look at someone this is not too difficult to prove.

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  120. This case was very disturbing because someone could have such a bad child life that they would be traumatized enough to change into a different person. This case was shocking with no one noticing that her mother was causing “Sybil” to go to another place in her mind to change people (emotions) so she could face her mother. Sybil had DID that made her have multiple personalities and I believe her mother caused all of it with the help of her dad not doing anything about her mom.
    Sybil was a true multiple because she wouldn’t have faked so many personalities because it made her life so difficult. No one would hurt their life that badly or make it go on for so long, so I feel she was a true multiple.
    Dr. Wilbur was psychiatrists that helped Sybil and made it so she could later on life lead a “normal” life. Dr. Wilbur was not supposed to help Sybil by hugging her and being more of a friend than anything. I believe that Sybil needed that love from someone and no one else could give it to her because she acted out of the “norm”. Sybil got better through the help and love that Dr. Wilbur gave and probably wouldn’t have got better without her help.
    I feel that the number of cases of MPD /DID increased after this case because people were wrongfully diagnosed with another disease such as schizophrenia. No one was trying to copycat this case, people were only diagnosed with similar cases because they were more aware of it and tried getting the incorrect diagnoses right. I believe that DID is believable and real. I think this because people can see the way these people change very quickly when something in there brain is triggered, like a hand reaching out to Sybil (she changes to a different personality.) Why would people try to have multiple personalities, it shows that they are crazy and need help to fit into society, so people wouldn’t fake this.

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  121. “Sybil” (Shirley Mason) was a true multiple, as far as psychology is concerned. True, there is no definitive way to ever see the conscious mind of Shirley, but if she had dissociated into the multiples or not, the fact that she seriously went through eleven years of therapy indicates she needed serious help. The kind of short-lived fame that comes from books would not have been worth that. Not to mention Shirley wanted no fame from the story.
    Dr. Wilbur became a friend to Sybil, and despite this going against the professional code, it seems only appropriate. The way Shirley needed to “heal” was through human/motherly affection that she missed out on in her childhood. Had Dr. Wilbur not grown to be friends with Shirley, she might not have gotten “better”. It’s almost sufficient to say it would have been unethical to not have formed a personal relationship with Shirley.
    When the book and movie came out, the number of DID cases sky-rocketed. There is a high possibility that the impressionable audience sought to mimic the behavior for whatever reasons, but there was also a probability of a population who felt more at ease and less alone who made themselves known. Also, there must have been a few patients for schizophrenia who were reclassified.
    DID is very difficult to prove. However, someone seeking help for DID probably does need help, just not in the same way. It would be best to keep cases “under wraps” so that the possibility of attention-seekers using it as an excuse would drop.

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  122. Hearing about DID for the first time in class, it was hard to believe that someone could have different personalities. Watching the movie "Sybil" changed my whole view on this disorder, for it was clearly shown that DID was real and she was not making it up. Sybil also known as Shirley Mason went through horrible abuse by her mother at a very young age. Because of being young her personality was not fully developed and the abuse caused her later in her life to have multiples that portrayed incidents that happened with her mother.
    Dr. Wilber, Shirley's psychiatrist was criticized for the way she helped Shirley concur DID. People said that it was unethical and unprofessional for her to get so close to Shirley during the 11 years they were together. I don’t find that unethical at all. Anyone is going to become close to someone after spending a whole 11 years to them especially with what she had to open up to and tell Dr. Wilber. If Dr.Wilber hadn't become close to Shirley I feel that it wouldn't have helped her concur DID and get through having to deal with the horrific memorizes of her childhood. She needed that mother figure in her life; she needed someone in her life to help her cope with the pain and the memories; which is what Dr. Wilber did.
    She was also criticized for using this case to get "famous". This was also far from the truth. If she had made up a fake name for the movie and the book, how would people really believe in this case? They wouldn't, at least I know I would haven’t. By using her name it let people know that she is a real person and this is a real case. She did not use it to get famous she used it for Shirley's sake to let people know this is really a true disorder that people are suffering from.
    After the book and then the movie came out, cases of DID started to rise drastically. I do not doubt one bit that some of the cases were really DID but there is so way all of them could be. For the cases that were true the book and movie helped basically let them and their family know that there was something like this and it does nee attention. But for the other cases that were not real I feel like they just wanted to be like "Sybil" and hope they got a book and a movie made for them.

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  123. After watch the movie “Sybil” and discussing it in class I do believe that Shirley Mason did have DID/MPD. There is not an exact way to prove this but with all symptoms she displayed it is highly likely she did. The fact that she spent 11 years in therapy shows that she was defiantly not faking it. It would not be worth the time, money and emotional stress she went just for a little fame.
    I think that Dr.Wibur did everything necessary in the case for the best possible result for Shirley. Dr.Wilbur did become friends with her patient which is said to be unprofessional but she had no other choice but to become close to Shirley so she could find out how she really is feeling. If she was not to get so close I believe that Shirley would not have been able to recovery from her illness.
    After the movie and the book came out the number of cases of DID/MPD rose dramatically. Many people believe that people faked the illness for popularity but the fact is no one new about the illness or the symptoms till this case so one it was revealed it changed everything. Many Psychiatrists that had diagnosed people with schizophrenia and other diseases realized that they real had DID/MPD. This case was a major psychological breakthrough. Most people diagnosed with the illness but there are still a few that try to fake the disease. DID/MPD is a serious disorder and should be treated and if you thing you have any symptoms you should be seen by a psychiatrist.

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  124. I believe that Sybil's case was an important stepping stone in understanding cases similar to hers. I don't believe that Sybil's alternate personas were fake or "created" by Dr. Wilbur for recognition in her field. I think that D.I.D. cases experienced a large jump in the amount of diagnoses for several reasons. The idea was now popularized, some people may hear about it and adopt it as a way to deal with their own issues or for other, more attention-orientated purposes. I believe that the relationship between Sybil and Dr. Wilbur was one born of decency and necessity. Wilbur found it necessary to cross boundaries set in place for typical psychiatric patients because she did not view Sybil's case as typical, justifiably so. The trust established between Sybil and Dr. Wilbur was, ultimately, what led to the possibility of Sybil being "cured" because that human affection and contact from a mother figure was what Sybil had lacked her entire life. D.I.D., in my opinion, should be viewed as a legitimate and proper psychological diagnosis as it is clearly presented as a possibility by the case of Shirley Ardell Mason.

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  125. I believe Sybil had different personalities. I don't think that anyone could just random decide o im going to pretend to have different people in my head especially if had never been seen before. And i don't think Dr. Wilbur did anything wrong in the act of becoming close with Sybil, How do you expect someone to tell there life story to you if you don't show any care toward them or make them feel safe. I also believe that more people were being diagnosed with DID/MPD because it became know No one knew it existed before they came out with this case study.

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  126. My opinions about “Sybil’s” case are that a little girl who goes through the things that Sybil went through at such a young age is going to have a line of problems. I believe that Sybil was a true multiple because of her past and the way she acted. I do think Dr. Wilbur had an unethical relationship with Sybil, but the only way to help her was to show her love and while Dr. Wilbur was doing her job, in a way, loving her was the only thing she could do to help Sybil. The number of MPD/DID might have skyrocketed after this case, but this would happen in any movie; not just Sybil’s. I believe it was a bit of both, Field’s portrayal and the awareness, I think humans have that instinct to want to be like what they see on TV so it was bound to happen either way. I think that this MPD/DID is difficult to prove because at the end of the movie she started to get better and her personalities had started to come together. But I also believe that Sybil’s disorder was real and a very hard disease that she lived with.

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  127. First and foremost, I do believe sybal was a "true multiple" of herself. MPD/DID exists for a reason, and the cause of this disorder is severe trauma or abuse very early in life. There clearly aren't any questions as to whether the abuse happened. It did, and -because of the trauma - she began to hide all the pain and anger and hurt in Peggy, Vicky, Vanessa, Marsha, etc. (her alters). Dr. Wilbur, in my opinion, did not act outside of the boundaries or broke any rules. She saw that she could give the one thing Sybal was lacking: love. Dr. Wilbur did what she deemed to be the right thing, and what she thought Sybal so desperately needed. Why did the number of diagnosed cases skyrocket after the case was publicized? I believe it was a mixture of the new awareness of the disorder, but also people who had a blueprint of what the disorder looked like. The “copycats” could have numerous reasons to pretend they have MPD/DID. It could have been that they were seeking attention, or it could have been that –like Sybal- they wanted to escape their fear and pain. That being said, I do believe this is a valid diagnosis. However, in my opinion, psychiatrists today are diagnosing too many people with dissociative disorders in general (some of which who may be perfectly normal). Just throwing that out there…

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  128. I definitely think that Sybil truly had a multiple personality disorder, because her case actually happened in the 1950's when many people didn't even know that this disorder existed. So I do think that MPD/DID is an actual diagnosis and that some people really do have it; because of extreme cases of trauma or abuse in their childhoods. However, after the release of the book and movie many of the cases of MPD/DID could have been people going off Sally Field's acting for attention seeking purposes, because this seems like a condition that if you were very committed to faking it you could do so. Some people could feel the need to do this if they are in a time of their life where they are in a lot of emotional pain and want to escape, like Sybil could(this though is not the right way to go about it). In Sybil's case however I am sure it was not faked. Dr.Wilbur, in my opinion, did a very good job with Sybil, because Sybil never had really had someone who loved her and she needed to be loved. As her psychiatrist Dr. Wilbur might have gotten to attached though. Sybil was in fact one of her patients and she did seem to become more than one.

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  130. Bottom line is that Sybil had a lot happen to her as a child. She created so many alters, in fact 16. They all help her when certain situations arose. She was mentally and sexually abused as a child, which led to Multi-Personalty Disorder. She had always thought as her mom(whom had done all the abuse) as loving. These alters led her on a journey to her being medically cleared. They all had stories, each of her alter egos had created a world of their own. Dr. Wilbur had created a relationship with Sybil over the course of their 11 year journey, some of Sybil's "others" looked up to Dr. Wilbur as a mother, because she/they never had any love as a child.Sybil loved Dr. Wilbur and said that every thing Dr. Wilbur claimed was really true. I don't think she was in it for the money. And how demented do you need to be to make up a story as messed up as this

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  131. While watching Sybil, I never once doubted that the story was true. The traumatic events that she was put through in her childhood is heartbreaking and troubling. Her story is one that I don't believe anyone could just make up for fame. Although Dr. Wilbur was unethical in getting very close to Shirley, I don't think that her using her real name in the book and movie were unethical. In order to prove that the story was true, she used her real name so people would know that the whole story wasn't made up. Even if the story was made up, we would know that whoever made it up was very mentally disturbed. I also think that if Shirley was faking her multiple personalities, Dr. Wilbur would have been able to tell, because who can pretend to be 16 different people? Not to mention people who lived near here when she was younger know that there was something wrong with the Mason household.

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  132. I believe that Sybil was a true multiple. If a person experienced a severely traumatic childhood like Sybil, it would be possible for that person to split into different alters. This MPD/DID was a valid diagnosis for Sybil because of the abuse she experienced as a child. Even though her mother was schizophrenic, it was still horribly wrong to do the things she did to her daughter. It was not unethical for Dr. Wilbur to become so close to Sybil. Sybil never felt love from her mother, and she received lots of love from Dr. Wilbur, which ultimately helped her. I don’t believe Dr. Wilbur manipulated Sybil for money. She split the money from the book with Sybil, and even left money to Sybil in her will. She truly cared about Sybil and wanted to help her. I believe the number of MPD/DID cases increased because of the new awareness of the disorder. The book and movie shed light on this disorder. However, some people probably claimed to have MPD/DID to seek attention and fame.

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  133. I do believe that Sybl is a true multiple. She went through such horrible sexual and mental abuse as a child, so her mind made up for the hurt; by making 16 different alters. I do not believe that Dr. Wilbur did anything unethical. A part of Sybils healing process was that she needed a friend. Dr. Wilber was there to help. She had to show Sybil love, because Sybils mother didn’t. I think that the reason why the cases of DID skyrocketed after the book was because people became more aware. Maybe some of the patients that were diagnosed with schizophrenia were more clearly classified as having DID after more people knew about it. The mind is such an amazing thing. It’s incredible that it has such a great defense mechanism. The fact that the people with DID went through something traumatic as a child convinces me that it is a real disorder.

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  134. The idea that someone would think that Dr. Wilbur had made up these traumatic events in order to benefit herself is simply foolish. She was already a pretty well know psychiatric doctor in New York. "Sybil's" case is undoubtedly true there is much to support what had happened although not all is accessible. "Sybil" clearly did have DID which is quite apparent due to everything that she had been through in her childhood. Of course one can't simply be one sided on this case, perhaps Dr. Wilbur shouldn't have gotten so close, it's a debatable controversy but in her case it worked out for the better. Personally the relationship that had been created between the two was boarder line appropriate, and yes some may think "well she was trying to help her" but keep in mind that is the reason Dr. Wilbur's ethics are being questioned. As far as the skyrocketed claims for having DID a majority of it was more than likely blown out of proportion, over-diagnosed and a way to gain attention from others. The movie that had been produced clearly showed how one with DID would act, enabling others to simply act like this knowing that they would get noticed. Of course this wasn't right but how could some of these doctors who diagnosed it know for sure, it wasn't even listed in the DSM until the fourth.

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  136. I honeslty have never even heard of her or even the movie until we started watching it in class. I think that what Dr. willbur did was nessaary but when someone like sybil didnt really have a good mother she needed that loving attention from someone. In a way your not suppose to do that with your patents but I think this time was okay sybil needed love and care and thats what Dr. wilbur was trying to do. She was trying to be there for sybil she cared so much for her. I think the reasons more MPD/DID skyrockted was because of the understanding of the disorder. I do believe this MPD/ DId is a valid diagnose because if she is swtiching to diffrernt people and there are other cases reported then in the world then it is a valid diagnose. It might be a hard thing to prove but I without a doubt dont think its not a valid disorder there are people out there who struggle with it.

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  137. This case is no doubt interesting and rare. It took true dedication on both Dr. Wilbur's part as well as Shirley's. Shirley had very traumatic experiences from a young age, most of them tied to her mother. It makes total sense that Shirley used dissociative coping methods in order to deal with the horrifying abuse. Therefore, it could be quite possible that Shirley developed as many personalities as she did. The movie only grazed over the terrible things her mother did to her.
    Because Shirley had developed so many alters Dr. Wilbur had to delicately maneuver deeper and deeper into Shirley's consciousness, learning more and more about her personality as a whole. How could a one not become personally attached? I do not believe that Dr. Wilbur over stepped her boundaries as a psychotherapist. Shirley's condition was rooted in a lack of positive personal contact with other people. In fact, she was afraid of people! Dr. Wilbur sharing affection for Shirley physically and verbally was very necessary. Shirley needed to discover for herself that not all people were going to hurt her like her mother had.
    When this case became well known I believe the number of those diagnosed with MPD increased because people recognized their symptoms in that of Shirley's case. Shirley was fully aware that something was wrong with her, her whole life. This could have been the spark for people living with the mental condition to see a doctor. Will there be copy cats out there, who simply want to seek attention? Yes, however MPD is a valid diagnosis for those who have experienced trauma like Shirley. Are the personalities going to be as defined as in the film? Probably not. But a good psychologist would be able to explore the patients symptoms to determine whether it is the true diagnosis.

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  138. I do believe Sybil was a true multiple because she showed lots of signs of multiple personality disorder. I don’t think Dr. Wilbur did anything unethical by becoming such a good friend to her patient because sometimes Sybil needed it. Some people don’t realize that some people just need somebody there to be there friend and help them. I think that the number of diagnosed cases of DID skyrocketed after this case was publicized because people saw an example of what it actually looks like and made them make the connection of symptoms to this disorder. I think the movie and book just made people “open their eyes” and realize that they might actually have something wrong with them. I believe that this DID is a valid diagnosis because Sybil had so many signs that pointed toward this diagnosis. If it wasn’t a valid diagnosis it probably wouldn’t have taken so many years to be proven and properly diagnosed.

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  139. In my opinion I truly cant believe that anyone would say that Sybil's case is fake and everything is made up. The movie was awesome and well played by Sally Field. Sybil's case was unbelievable in this time period so I think Dr. Wilbur had all the rights in the world to become close to Sybil. She had to be close to Sybil in order to understand her so well and treat her correctly. If you think about it she had to treat sixteen people. I think that the reason why the number of cases of MPD/DID increased after Sybil was published was because it became public and gave people a name to put with their "disorder". I thought Sybil being beat as a child and trapped in a sawdust bin was bad enough. Let Alone that her mom destroyed her future as an adult making it so she couldn't have kids and not to mention her alters. I can understand why Sybil was the way she was. However I can understand where this case can be controversial. We don't know everything that happened between Sybil and Dr. Wilbur. But I do not believe that Dr. Wilbur would have planted anything in Sybil's head. Dr. Wilbur must have done something right if Sybil was able to be a professor after her treatment. Although it took Dr. Wilbur eleven years to finally bring Sybil back to being Sybil. I think she saved her life who cares how long it took.

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  140. Was Shirley Mason a true MPD? To start with, the available knowledge about the “Sybil” case is limited. I should also note that Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil was a fictionalized novel. All that aside, the Sybil that comes to mind after watching the television series and hearing and excerpt of the novel was certainly a disturbed person. The series showed Shirley’s mother abusing her consistently and maliciously. We also saw many of Sybil’s personalities. I would say that considering everything that is known of Shirley Ardell Mason, it has hard to deny that she suffered from MPD (aka DID).

    Another topic that often comes up when the case of Sybil is mentioned is the ethicality of Dr. Cornelia B. Wilbur’s treatment of Shirley. Under most circumstances, a psychotherapist is not allowed a personal relationship with their client. The relationship described in the T.V. series and novel was definitely a personal one. But, one should also keep in mind the specifics of this particular case. Would any Therapist have been able to treat a person as badly broken as Sybil while still keeping their relationship with this client purely personal? I don’t think so. Because Shirley had such little trust in people, for obvious reasons, it was necessary for Dr. Wilbur to prove to Shirley that she genuinely cared for her. Considering that in eleven years Dr. Wilbur was able to take this broken person who was suffering from blackouts and emotional breakdowns, and turn her into a (relatively) trusting person capable of teaching Art at Rio Grande College and eventually running her own art gallery; I would say the ends justify the means.

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  141. I believe that “Sybil” truly had dissociative identity disorder and that none of it was planted in her head by hypnosis by Dr. Wilbur. Dr. Wilbur did what she had to do to help “Sybil” get better. The amount of abuse “Sybil” had faced was very great so I do not think she could have been cured if Dr. Wilbur had kept it purely professional. As to the skyrocketing of diagnosed cases I believe that is was both the new knowledge and copycats. The case was extremely informative which would help other doctors to identify if one of their patients had this disorder. I do not think that most kids can go through what “Sybil” went through without finding some escape. Making up brand new versions of yourself is definitely a very sue way of protecting yourself from memories and pain. Some humans however do tend to seek attention and there is no doubt in my mind that there were people who pretended to have a DID. As far as diagnosing mental disorders goes dissociative identity is probably one of the more difficult disorders to diagnose because it is relatively easy to pretend to have multiple personalities but it is definitely a real disorder.

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  142. "Sybil" is a truly unusual human being. Based on my knowledge, I believe that Sybil truly had Dissociative Identity Disorder. I don't think that any person could fake that level of trauma or switch personalities so fluently if they were actually faking the whole ordeal. I do not believe that any of these ideas were planted into Sybil's head by Dr. Wilbur through her use of hypnosis. I also think that given the circumstances of Sybil's disorder, Dr. Wilbur was completely ethical in becoming such a close friend of Sybil. If Dr. Wilbur hadn't coddled Sybil, perhaps she would never have broken through and helped Sybil with her disorder. If these were different circumstances, Dr. Wilbur's actions would've been considered completely unethical. However, Sybil needed this level of comfort, especially when she was in extreme distress. If Dr. Wilbur hadn't comforted Sybil there is a great possibility that she would've committed suicide due to the personality of "Marsha."
    Before Sybil's case, there had been discussion and observation of patients who had possibly developed Multiple Personality Disorder. However, this case was the first that was documented. It also placed it in the DSM as a documented mental disorder. Before this occurrence, people didn't actually know the real symptoms associated with someone who had Multiple Personality Disorder. After this case was publicized the number of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed. This could be because people looked at the symptoms and began to believe that they or a close friend exhibited a few of these symptoms. Another reason why the number of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed because it had never actually been documented as a mental disorder. Suddenly, people were realizing that they're symptoms meant something, that they weren't just crazy. On another note, I believe the majority of this skyrocketing came from a new awareness and understanding of the disorder itself. People had never truly understood why they blacked out and ended up in places without knowing how they got there. However, I also believe that there were probably quite a few people that believed they had MPD/DID as a result of Sally Field's portrayal in the movie and only wanted attention.
    Overall, I truly believe that this MPD/DID is a valid diagnosis. How could any human being fake MPD/DID? No person could fake that type of extreme trauma unless they've suffered from extensive abusive situations. I also don't think that someone could possibly create numerous personalities on their own, if they didn't have MPD/DID. That would take quite a bit of concentration and I don't think any one person could be very convincing in their "acting." It is difficult to prove that this is a valid diagnosis. However, I think the tactics that Dr. Wilbur employed were critical in coming to a conclusion about the diagnosis of Sybil. I truly believe that Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder is a real diagnosable mental disorder.

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  143. I believe that "Sybil" definetly had something wrong with her. that she had multiple personality disorder. I do not believe that Dr. Wilber did anything unethical. I think she had to be comforting and loving to Sybil because she hadnt everhad that in her childhood. I think that the amount of cases syrocketed because the disorder became more widley known and then everyone either said they had it or were diagnosed with it. Also, social media i think played a big role in this because it did become so much more known and talked about. I truley think that this story was certainley not created just for the money and fame, i do no believe someone especially a psychiatrist would create such a vulger and horrible story about a little girl. I defiently think that the father of Sybil was partially to blame for this. He either was truley oblivious to the situation or he didn't want to say anything becasue he was affraid or intimitated by his wife. However, when your dealing with child abuse it shouldn't matter what the circumstance he should have helped his daughter and gotten her out of there as soon as possible. This story was very sad and disheartening for me to hear but the outcome and for Sybil to beable to live through what she did and get help later on in life is truley remarkable.

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  144. This case is extremely interesting and leaves anyone who studies it with many unanswered questions. I do believe that Sybil had a true case of DID because why on earth would Wilbur as a professional in her trade do anything to influence someone into thinking they had something they didn't. It also makes sense after looking through Sybil's past why she would have developed DID. It was necessary in my opinion for Dr. Wilbur to become close to Sybil because otherwise would her alters have contacted her when they knew Sybil was in trouble? It was apparent that Sybil kept her appointments with the doctor even when she wasn't herself and I don't think she would have done so unless they were particularly close. Upon this case being released I think that people with this condition were able to realize that there was an explanation for the things they were experiencing and that it wasn't normal. There also could've been sick people looking for attention but, you know. I find that with someone who really had DID you would be able to tell because they would radically be different and they would have no memory. Even though this is self reported data there comes a point where someone who was pretending would falter and make a mistake in their story. A person who actually suffered from this disorder wouldn't because they're actually in denial that they have other personalities.

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  145. I believe this case is definitely very intriguing. However, I don't know if we will ever know whether "Sybil" was a true multiple or not. Everybody who was involved in the case has passed away at this point and the sealed case files are not going to be opened for public knowledge any time soon, if ever. Rather than speculating whether it is a real case or not, we should be focussing on what was learned from the case. Because Sybil's story has been released, hundreds of others have been able to find help. Some may argue that many of these new cases are fake. However, there is no way to prove that the sufferers where faking, and if they were in fact struggling with DID, they were able to find help due to the exposure that this story allowed.

    In regards to Dr. Wilbur, I feel that she did what was right. It is up to a doctor to do what is best for a patient and each case is going to be different. Dr. Wilbur identified what Sybil needed to get better and administered it. She did what she thought would make a difference and would be the easiest path for Sybil to take toward recovery. In the end, she was successful and Sybil certainly had no objection. Though some may argue, I don't feel that Dr. Wilbur did anything wrong.

    The movie it's self was wonderful. Sally Field does a gorgeous job portraying the strengths and vulnerabilities of the various alters. The directing of the movie trully brought out the real life horror story aspects of the case. I know that some aspects of the film were not a part of the original case and where added to make the story more appealing to audience. However, you will find this with any movie adaptations. Overall, I feel the film accurately captured the integrity of the case and helped to bring light to this tragic life.

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  146. I do agree in thinking that Sybil was a true victim of multiple personality disorder. I think that it would be an extreme stretch to even begin to create sixteen different personalities and also the horrendous abuse Sybil endured as a child. All the awful things Sybil's mother couldn't just be conjured from someone's mind. They're too awful. Also I think that how close Dr. Wilbur became with Sybil was perfectly okay. She needed to be that close with Sybil in order to make progress and break down walls. Also Dr. Wilbur worked closely with Sybil for eleven years. How can you not become close with someone after that amount of time? I don't think this was unethical at all I had similar experience with a therapist when I was around six or seven. Her name was Gail and she helped me get through the death of my mother but after therapy ended we remained friends until she passed away. I think that the reason the number of diagnoses of multiple personality sky rocketed because of raised awareness. Sybil's case was the first formal case study of multiple personality and after it was published helped to shed light on other victims of the disorder. I think this a very valid disorder and that it should be taken seriously. It makes sense if one endures a severe trauma in order to survive one splits into pieces to save the whole. This is a very real disorder brought to light by the case of Sybil and the work of Dr. Wilbur.

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  147. Anyone who went through something that traumatic as a child would do anything to not remember what happened over and over again. I believe that Sybil did have multiple personalities to protect her. Why would you pretend to have 16 different personalities for 11 years. Some people may think that Dr.Wilbur had crossed lines between a doctor and patient relationship but i think that she needed to develop a good relationship with Sybil in order to solve the case. If she didn't she probably would have never had a break through with Sybil because Sybil needed to know that she could trust someone. as for more cases coming out after Sybil cases was probably do to the fact of fame. The movie was very disturbing but good movie. I believe the case is true but it would also be really hard to prove it to be right or wrong

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  148. I have no doubt that “Sybil” is a real case of Dissociative Identity Disorder and she was a true multiple.There’s such fine lines between something ethical and unethical, especially when specific circumstances are added into the mix. Nobody will ever know obviously if the fact that Doctor Wilbur did become so close to Shirley Mason was what was needed for her to be helped, because that was the method she first jumped into and did. But taking into consideration her personality of her alters and herself, I see it as helpful that they became so close, because “Sybil” needed someone's help and love and care to finally open up to people and come to realization.The reason that the number of diagnosed cases of MPD/DID skyrocketed after this case was publicized was because it finally put this mental illness in the public eye. Many people who had this before, had no idea what was wrong, didn’t know it was “okay” or “normal” to have it, so when this came out, people were more comfortable with opening up about it and bringing it forward. I’m sure a select few were attention seekers, because there always is, but majority of the new cases that appeared were genuine. The MPD/DID is a valid diagnosis, you can psychically see the change in people and their attitude when their personalities change.

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  149. I have a strong belief that if the professional line needs to be crossed to help a patient then the doctor should be allowed to cross that line. Doctor Wilber took the right approach to curing Sybil from her disorder. I think that the alters that Shirley Manson had were real. Abuse like what Sybil sustained would probably cause anyone to create alters to protect themselves from the pain of traumatic situations. I also believe that the reason the number of reported cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder came from the increased awareness about the disorder from the book and the movie gave a better understanding of the disorder. The Movie was extremely good and it kind of scared me especially when the music portrayed the fear that Sybil had. I thought the neighbor was extremely creepy the way he stared at her though the window at night.

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  150. Sybil I feel was a true multiple because in the 20 to 40 year span between the death of both Doctor Wilbur and Sybil and the inhumane acts of Sybil's mother something or someone should have came out and said something. Plus with all this fame more people probably wanted the fame too and that is a theory of mine why more people came out and claimed they had this disease. Also I thought maybe this disorder wasn't approved to have by the people of the nation and therefore people hid and didn't tell anybody they would lose time or have any alters.
    Also if Doctor Wilbur did cross any lines with Sybil it was then useful because we helped her get past all her alters. The only unethical thing Doctor Wilbur could have done is lie about the whole thing.
    Evidence supports both sides whether it is real or not but the facts about it being fake were not released until the deaths of both Wilbur and Sybil

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  151. I believe “Sybil” was a real true multiple. Sybil had gone through many traumatic events when she was a child and none of this was made up. Sadly there are many kids that have to go through these tragedies and Sybil was one of them. She had to cope somehow with the devastation so she did this through making other personalities or alters. Her disease was such a bad case that her doctor, Doctor Wilbur, had to go through extremes to help her live life normally. Doctor Wilbur had to become close friends with Sybil. She also used hypnosis to cure her. She did what she knew had to be done to cure her and she lived a normal life after that, causing Doctor Wilbur’s cures to be a success.
    I don’t believe this case was a lie. I don’t believe Doctor Wilbur or Sybil were trying to make this story or try to make money from this story. Also I believe that this movie helped others with DID to come out and say they have a problem just like Sybil. I believe this is why there were so many cases after this movie came out. People were realizing that this is a disease and they aren’t crazy, they just need help. Some people have to go through a lot of tragedies so they make these alters to take the memories away. I don’t think that is hard to prove.

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  152. I think that the case of Sybil is real, but it may have been exaggerated in the film. The relationship between Doctor Wilber and Sybil was necessary. Sybil needed to know what it was like to have someone there for her and Doctor Wilber was that person. I believe that Sybil was a true multiple. Anyone who has suffered as much trauma as she did needs to cope in a more extreme way. Before this case was released to the public, DID was not a common diagnosis. When people and their loved ones realized that this may be influencing their lives, they began to seek help, causing the skyrocket of diagnoses. I believe that DID is a valid diagnosis if the symptoms are spot on rather than being very vague.

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  153. After going through the trauma and abbuse "Sybil" went through as a child, I'm not sure one couldn't suffer from the mental disorder I believe that Sybil did suffer from. It would be extremely hard for one to play out such a disorder as Multiple Personality's disorder. You would need to be very good at acting and remembering each of the alters.
    As for Sybil and Dr. Wilbur's relationship, I don't think it was unethical. I feel that the relationship they had was necessary for Sybil to have a proper recovery. If Dr. Wilbur was to only have a patient/doctor relationship with Sybil she wouldn't of been able to become close enough to her to get Sybil to reach out to her. Another pro of Sybil and Dr. Wilbur being so close is that Dr. Wilbur was able to actually keep Sybil safe in her times of panic and extreme actions such as Sybil's violent acts and attempts of suicide.
    I believe that Dr. Wilbur did what she thought she needed to do to heal Sybil the proper way and I don't think money was ever one of her goals in this case. Of course this was her career but I think she took a lot of pride in what she had a profession in and wasn't seeking money but instead the recovery of a patient.
    Overall, I find Sybil to be a very remarkable and strong women. To go through the experiences she went to and someday be able to somewhat recovery and come to the reality of her metal disorder is a huge achievement. Dr. Wilbur is to be highly credited with the help of this healthy change as well.

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  154. I most definitely would agree that the case of Sybil is real. I believe that Sybil was in fact a true multiple. In my opinion Dr. Wilbur did nothing wrong when treating Sybil's illness. Dr. Wilbur would not have been able to get through to Sybil who had suffered a great amount of trauma in her life and therefore would not have been able to help combine the 16 alters back into 1 person. Sybil went through multiple types of abuse during her childhood which made her want to block it all out and try to forget, which is why she made her alters deal with it. Dr. Wilbur did what she thought to be necessary in order to help her patient, as well as continuing to be close friends with Sybil after their treatment was over with. If Sybil went back to having no affection shown towards her then is it possible she could have recreated her alters? Even after 11 years of treatment? Maybe that's why Dr, Wilbur made the decisions she made. The fact that the number of people with DID skyrocketed is most likely a mixture of reasons. It's possible that some people just did it for attention, yet it is also very possible that people came to realize what DID really was which led them to seek treatment. I believe that DID is a valid diagnosis because I highly doubt people would fake something like this for YEARS. I don't think that people would sit through years of treatment all to act out for attention. It doesn't seem like that would make any sense.

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  155. Before learning about the case of "Sybil," I didn't know very much at all about Dissociative Identity Disorders. I didn't understand how it could be possible for a person to have more than one personality. However, after learning about all of the trauma that Sybil had to endure as such a young child, it makes complete sense to me now as to how it would be possible for a person to develop more than one personality. I truly believe that Sybil was a true multiple. I honestly don't know how somebody could go through the trauma that she did without developing some type of coping mechanism like DID.
    I think that it was necessary for Dr. Wilbur to form a relationship with Sybil because of the severity of the case. It was important for Dr. Wilbur to show Sybil that she could be comfortable and form relationships with other individuals without being afraid. Dr. Wilbur knew what she was doing and due to the relationship that was formed between her and Sybil she was able to successfully treat Sybil to the point where she could finally live a normal life.
    When the case was published, DID was very new and was still in the process of being introduced to society. I think that the number of cases reported skyrocketed because of the new awareness, but also because some people simply just wanted attention.

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  156. Sybil was a great movie showing the actions that someone with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) would live with in their everyday life. This movie made me want to watch it all the time. After hearing about what Sybil, Shirley Ardell Mason, went through as a child with her mother i didn't really know what to think. I don't understand how someone could do the things sybil's mother did, even if they do have a mental disorder. When i first saw one of sybils other personalities i was shocked at how she acted. The movie producers could of overdone it a little but from what i have researched and heard from you it seems like she did act like this.

    Sybils and Dr. Wilbur's relationship to me was not unethical. Someone with that kind of disorder needs lots of help and thats what Dr. Wilbur did. Some people say Dr. Wilbur's help was not the right kind of help. They say she gave her to much love and support that she was just babied, but sybil needed that kind of help and that kind of love relationship with someone so she could get better and not end up doing more damage to herself.

    Dr. Wilbur was doing her job in helping sybil. She would do whatever she had to do to help sybil survive and move on in her life and live a better life. I don't think she was out to get money in this she was just showing the world what living with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is really like. She also reveals sybils whole life from way back when she was a baby and all of sybils other personalities she was living with.

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  157. I believe that the case of Sybil is real, especially after learning of all the abuse and trauma she went through. I believe that she was a true multiple because of all the things she was put through as a child. In my opinion, Dr. Wilbur did what she had to do, she had to get through to Sybil somehow and in order to do that she had to build a relationship with her and become close friends with her. Dr. Wilbur did all that she could over those 11 years to bring all 16 of Sybil's alters into 1, and the way she did it, I believe might have been the only way to get it done. I don't believe that Dr.Wilbur and Sybil did this for the money and the fame, I believe they brought it into the public's eye to show everyone about it, so others would not have to suffer from it. I also don't believe that they made any of this stuff up, I believe that Sybil was truly suffering and that she needed a lot of help.

    I also believe that the number of cases of DID skyrocketed because of the realization of the severity of the disease. I think people realized that it was a real thing and that many people could be suffering from it. Dr.Wilbur did a good thing publishing Sybil's story, so that she could show the world this disease, I don't believe that she did anything unethical, I think that she was just doing her job.

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  158. Dissociative identity disorder really is a bizarre and incredible disorder. After being officially classified as a disorder in the DSM, the number of cases of people with this disorder dramatically increased. I do believe that this is due to DID being more artificial than it might appear. I am not saying that it should not be classified as a disorder, but should be recognized that it is a disorder that is made real by the subjects themselves. Perhaps traumatic past experiences have led them to create and play the role of someone with multiple personalities- however I believe that this hysterical act is made completely real in their minds. So in a sense I feel that DID is a disorder in which the subject fabricates a delusion of having multiple personalities, if that makes sense. This would explain why cases were so few before it was recognized as a disorder and made known.

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  159. My opinion on this case is that Sybil did in fact have Multiple Personality Disorder. I also think that it was somewhat remarkable that Dr. Wilbur spent 11 years of her life treating Sybil. I think that if Dr. Wilbur had tried to maintain a strict doctor-patient relationship with the same patient for 11 years, Sybil may not have been able to combine the alters into one shared personality. Sybil didn’t have friends and Dr. Wilbur was the one she spent time with the most. If Wilbur hadn’t been a friend for her, Sybil would really have nobody to talk to, just like in the movie when she said she took multiple cabs just to try and talk to the taxi drivers. It may have been somewhat unethical to become her friend, but that was the only way. I think that the large spike of people who claimed to have DID/MPD were divided. I would say that about half of the people who were diagnosed did it simply for attention, and another half actually had DID or MPD. I don’t have any evidence to back this up however, so it’s just my opinion on what might have happened following the release of the book and movie. I believe that DID/MPD is too hard to diagnose. If an actor can do it convincingly in front of millions of people, so can lots of other people. It’s essentially a disease that almost anyone can fake because the disease itself lies within the individual’s mind, and it’s impossible to see what someone else is thinking. I’m not sure I agree with those who claim Dr. Wilbur should have taken an objective view on the case and not gotten personally involved. I also don’t think that 11 years of therapy was really a rewarding or easy experience for Wilbur. That’s 11 years of her life that was nearly all devoted towards one patient. How did Sybil afford 11 years of therapy if she couldn’t hold a job because of her disorder? Did Wilbur work for free, on her own time? These are some of the discrepancies with the case. Sybil could have faked the whole thing, however if it was fake she definitely would have given up trying to act after such a long period of time, so I do believe that she genuinely had DID/MPD.I believe that if someone has the same symptoms (split personalities/alters) over a long period of time, such as 3 or 4 months, then it’s safe to say that they are not merely faking the disorder for attention or their own amusement. 433 There is not much to say about the fact that Wilbur and the author of the book, Flora Rheta Schreiber, made a ton of money from both the movie deals and the physical book itself. I understand why people would be skeptical about the validity of such a disorder and how many alters just one single person had, but at the same time, the time span of the whole therapy diagnosis and treatment is irrefutable evidence that they were not lying about any of it.
    -Ethan R.

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  160. Dissociative Identity Disorder truly is a bizarre disorder. It sounds crazy, and doesn’t really make a lot of sense to people who don’t have multiples, but I do believe that it is possible. That being said, I think that Dr. Wilbur’s diagnosis of Shirley Mason was indeed valid. She experienced years and layers of abuse as a child, and her way of dealing with it was to dissociate into different people. Dr. Wilbur wasn’t just searching for fame when she diagnosed Shirley with DID, and even if she had been, the professional-turned-personal relationship she had would have changed that. She cared about Shirley enough to want what was best for her, and that’s why she worked with her and devoted her knowledge to her for eleven years. I don’t believe that her relationship with her patient was unethical, although I can understand how it could be interpreted that way. Her whole life Shirley felt like people were after her and she had a lot of issues caused by the abuse from her mother. She needed a friend and love and thats what Dr. Wilbur provided. Many people think that Shirley’s diagnosis was just a way for Wilbur to gain a lot of money by making a best selling story based on it. I believe that Wilbur did what she had to do in order to help Shirley out, and though it may have not been ethical at points by not keeping records or perhaps being too personal with a patient, Shirley did get the help she needed in the end. I think that after the movie was released, people out there saw what DID truly was, since it hadn’t been a huge issue before then. More people realized just how serious a disorder DID could be and wanted to find more people to treat. However, I think Sally Field did an excellent job playing the role of someone with multiples, and this made the path for any other person who is good at acting to do the same. I’m sure some cases that came up were truly because before then, no one really knew quite what DID was, but most of the cases that came up in the time after Shirley’s story was released were because every person who had been traumatized at some point in their life, or just wanted the attention, knew how to get it, or how to cope. I believe that there is a lot of controversy surrounding this specific case, and I don’t know all the facts. But I do know that there is a lot of testimony that Shirley’s mother was a sick woman, and that her life growing up wasn’t always the best. Dr. Wilbur did make a difference in her life, Shirley even told a close friend about how she truly did have multiples. All this talk of perhaps the story being fabricated makes me think, why would Dr. Wilbur really have cared for someone so much for that long of time if it had only been just for the money? Why did they take the time to come up with such an elaborate case? It seems to me like she would have taken the easy way out, instead of devoting most of her life to one patient.

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  161. The case of Sybil was a very interesting case. I believe MPD/DID is a very real and I believe that Sybil/Shirley was a true multiple because its hard to make up such a thing. All of the graphic abuse and everything that she went through wasn't something someone with a sane mind could just make up. All of the sessions, papers, recordings and their word should be enough. People don’t always care about just money, sometimes they care about the actual people they treat also. 11 years with layers and layers of truth being peeled away would be a very long and tedious stunt to pull off. Dr, Wilbur was not only her doctor, after years and of her caring for Sybil/Shirley she was the longest stretch of actual love in her life. It would be hard to not be friends with someone that you saw so often and so much. Also, being friends with Sybil/Shirley would help Dr. Wilbur stay in contact and make sure she's okay without having to be in a professional setting. When anyone feels different or abnormal in anyway it may be hard to come out and say it. People don't want to feel embarrassed or shunned by the public by looking for help when they feel that no one is going through the same thing they are. With the book or movie being out and with how popular and public it got, it could have helped the other people suffering from MPD/DID reach out and get help because they no longer felt so alone and knew that somewhere someone would help them because they helped others. Nothing and no one can get away from the public without some sort of bad publicity. The story alone is unbelievable, so it would make sense that people would want to prove it wrong so they could be in the limelight. The number of MPD/DID cases are just a piece of evidence that helps possibly prove it wrong. Sally field was certainly amazing in the movie, but she is a trained actresses that was trained to act like she did. It would take a lot of unnecessary and stressful energy to copy the acting job she did. The scrip of an actual story was already there, all she had to do was to act it out. Someone who just decided to act it out would have to think of a story and make it believable and not forget a single thing they ever said. MPD/DID is just a tragic disease that is caused by trauma in your past. You have to feel all the emotions, and someone without the personalities would feel them a lot more and harder without that shield. Its a very hard diagnosis but it shouldn’t be treated as a fake one unless it's proven that every single case was just something else. With how different they are that would be really hard. Its easier to have a name for your condition then wonder what it is forever. This story/book/movie was very insightful and hopefully it continue to give insight to people.

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  162. This is a very interesting controversy which leaves many unanswered questions. Before learning about Sybil and her story, I had no idea it was even possible to have multiple personalities, let alone sixteen. To me it seemed nearly impossible to have that many personalities all developed by one person. However, after learning about Sybil’s case, I quickly changed my mind. I haven’t been through traumatic events like she had been through so I guess I wouldn’t quite understand how those events, especially at such a young age, would affect her mental health. Nonetheless, I do believe that every event (traumatic or inspiring) that a person goes through can be absorbed completely different in someone’s life than others. For most, victims find relief through compassion. For example, Dr. Wilbur’s relationship with her patient, I believe, helped Sybil understand her condition. I thought it was very important that Dr. Wilbur invited Sybil into her personal life as well as her professional one. Another huge question that has been asked was about the number of diagnosed MPD/DID cases that skyrocketed after Sybil’s case was publicized. I would like to think the numbers skyrocketed because of the new knowledge about the disorder that was released within Sybil’s case, however, there will always be a good percentage of people who lie and copycat others, seeking attention. It’s quite disturbing to think that someone would pretend they have a serious mental disorder just because they either want money or attention but there will never not be people who do so. Quite honestly, this specific disorder must be merely impractical to diagnose. Not only are you unaware of someone else’s consciousness, but you are also unaware of someone else’s reality. The person you are examining could also bowlface lie to you about what they’re experiencing. MID/DID is also commonly mistaken for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, so how can a doctor ever truly know if their patient has MID/DID versus any other mental disorder with the same symptoms? In Sybil’s case, it was obvious that she had gone through mental and physical abuse when she was younger. Therefore, she must of had some kind of mental problem, maybe dissociative identity disorder, or maybe not. I don’t think anyone would know for sure except for Sybil herself and Dr. Wilbur. I do know for a fact that a person couldn’t easily make up their whole life from her mother’s abuse towards her; to me that would be impossible to make up without someone finding the real truth. In conclusion, I would say that I do believe Sybil/Shirley’s case might of had some exaggerated tales but the majority of what was released was true. Dr. Wilbur was a courageous doctor that took on a unintentional journey with Sybil/Shirley through the hardest times of Sybil/Shirley’s life. I also believe the reason why the film and book was released was to show people that the disorder was real and still is. Making a few bucks off of the release was plus but certainly wasn't the reason for this film.

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  163. Shirley Ardell Mason was a true psychological phenomenon, disguised as Sybil Isabel Dorsett. She was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, (MSD). This disorder is caused from extreme mental or physical trauma caused for a long period during, most often, during childhood. Your conscience mind leaves itself and transforms into someone else. You, yourself may not remember what had happened when you were one of your different alters, but it was you who it had happened to. Sybil’s mother had mentally, physically, and sexually abused her as a child until she had died. Sybil was scarred from this, and was never mentally stable. When Sybil had gone to the doctors for a cut on her hand from the broken window in her 30’s, she first came in contact with her doctor. Dr. Cornelia Wilbur had become not only a doctor but Sybil’s best friend. Many people argue that Dr. Wilbur and Sybil had an unprofessional relationship because Dr. WIlbur had spent so much time on Sybil. There is also controversy about Dr. Wilbur performing unethical exercises to become so close to Sybil. I do not believe that this women had performed anything unethical or else Sybil wouldn’t have continued to come back to get help. The alters wouldn’t have opened up to her and neither would Sybil. What Sybil’s mother did was unethical, Wilbur was helping her patient and assured that she would do anything to get her better, and what she did worked. So why is there any question about it? She had dedicated much of her career on Sybil, and documented files and files and files of information regarding this disease. I personally do not think that Dr. Wilbur’s relationship with Sybil was unprofessional. Doctor’s need to have a personal relationship with their patients because sometimes that’s the only way to get into their heads. Sybil needed to be comfortable with Dr. Wilbur in order for her to be able to open up to her. Wilber needed to be personally connected to each of the altars for her to be able to accurately record her findings. She needed each traumatizing event to be shared with her, and the only way she was able to do that was to become close to Sybil. Dr. Wilbur obviously cared for Sybil very much or else she would not have put so much time and effort into her disease. She was Sybil’s friends, and very much her better mother figure. After this story got out to other doctors and the book and movie was released, the diagnosis had skyrocketed. I think this is because people started looking for symptoms, and maybe they pretended to have altars to get attention. Dr. Wilbur had made history and had a lot of attention. Other doctors may have wanted the same, so they might have taken patients that showed the symptoms mildly and stretched the truth & exaggerated the signs and symptoms. If Sybil hadn’t been discovered the way she did, and people hadn’t heard so much about it, another doctor would have discovered these same symptoms and recorded the same data.

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  164. My opinion on the case of Sybil is that it is a true story. Everything that was written and made that supports the case of Sybil was true, I believe. There are many instances that occurred in Sybil’s life that make it hard to believe anyone could make up such things. I do believe that Sybil had multiple personalities. It would be very difficult to make up sixteen different personalities. Every personality also had their own name, age, and qualities about them. Shirley was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder by Dr. Wilbur. The diagnosis is accurate because having Dissociative Identity Disorder is a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory, and consciousness. Shirley connected certain memories with the personality of one of her characters. As far as Dr. Wilbur becoming too close or friends with Shirley, I disagree that they became too close. Shirley needed a mother figure in her life and she found that through Dr. Wilbur in friendly way. Also, doctors and patients become friends and close with one another over time. Shirley spent eleven years of her life working one on one with Dr. Wilbur. It only makes sense that within an eleven year span they would have to become friends. After the case of Sybil many more cases arose. I believe this occurred, because many people were most likely unaware of what the disorder was. The case brought more of an understanding to the public. Once people learned more about Sybil and Dissociative Identity Disorder, they or people they may suspect might have it, reported it and got help. There were people out there that could’ve lied for attention or fame to to get something out of it. Overall I believe it brought more of an understanding to the public and allowed them to be more aware of this disorder. There was a lot of evidence supporting the diagnosis as valid. The evidence that was gathered also seems very difficult for someone who was trying to get fame or money to come up with such sinister and devious situations. The mind can think of horrific things, but it takes an unhealthy mind to think of things to the extent that Shirley experienced. Overall I very much enjoyed the movie. I can not make a connection to the book because I have not read it. The movie portrayed, what I thought, was an accurate depiction of Shirley Mason’s Dissociative Identity Disorder. I enjoyed watching her flashbacks and change from one personality to another. All the actors and actresses played their roles very well, especially Sally Field who played Sybil. The one question that arose while I was watching the movie was how could Dr. Wilbur tell the difference between all of Shirley’s personalities? If there were a couple it would be easy, but she had sixteen, of which many of them were younger children. Over the course of eleven years I can see how she could begin to decipher one personality from another, but how could she be sure that the personality that characterized Shirley in that moment was the correct one? Besides this question I thought the movie was very enjoyable and helped me, personally, understand more about how MPD and DID work.

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  165. Sybil was a very interesting case when it comes to Dissociative Identity Disorder. She had many situations in her case that weren’t like others. She was very close with her therapist, Dr. Wilber, and also didn’t have any family close to her to watch out for her. It would be strange for a therapist, or any doctor, to get close with their patients but Sybil’s case was different. Her treatment lasted eleven years so I’m sure it would be hard to not start caring for your patient. Also spending that much time together it would be very hard not to have a more intimate relationship with her. She was a grown women that acted like a child, so anyone with mothering instincts would want to try to help her, but her psychiatry helped immensely also. Both of those things working together would have made the treatment quicker too. Sybil realizing that her treatment is going well and also her realizing someone really cares for her. It was a lot for her to trust someone and know that they aren’t going to hurt her.
    Dr. Wilber’s intentions of publishing this story wasn’t bad either. She shared the profits with Sybil, afterall it wasn’t just the doctors story. She wanted to get the word out about Dissociative Identity Disorder. She did succeed in that, but it also had some downfalls. Many family members of people that were suffering from it had a reason for the odd behavior. These people could start treatment and start to get better and repair the damage that has been done. Others saw the all of the attention that Sybil got and wanted that too. They pretended to had DID to gain attention from family, friends and even doctors. It would be hard to distinguish if they were telling the truth or not, so the diagnoses rate skyrocketed. This is a negative from the book and movie coming out, but i think the positives outweigh them. More people, who were really sick and needed the treatment, could finally receive treatment and start that long journey of recovery.
    I do not believe that anything unethical happened in this case with Dr. Wilber and Sybil. The only unethical thing in this was the lack of attention Sybil got from her family in the beginning stages of her life. Her father, grandmother, doctors, teachers or possibly friends might have noticed something odd and just decided to ignore it. She was very frightened as a child by very odd things and that was very unusual, like the button hook, but her dad never bothered looking into why she was so afraid other than checking to see if her shoes were too tight. Her doctor also treated her for her average “childhood aches and pains” but they were not average by any means. At least when I was young not many of my friends had broken tracheas.

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  166. After referring to these websites and watching this movie on Sybil, I completely believe that Sally Ardell Mason’s mental disorder is real. She herself admits to that after the publishing of the book and has doctor Wilbur, who experienced it first hand, to support the claim. As for Dr. Wilbur and Sybil’s relationship, I believe that is truly necessary to dig deep into Sybil’s brain of many personalities. Sybil needed to see doctor Wilbur as a friend and as no harm to her before she could become close and let out her other sides with her and allow her to perform hypnosis on her. The movie accurately represents this, as Sybil admits she has no friends in this huge city of New York and goes from taxi to taxi while getting eaten up by this city. These few highlights of Sybil’s past seen in the movie show some very traumatic scenes that are not just typical ones people seeking attention would turn to. How could it be possible for one to make up 16 different alters with all little differences and each different fears that were as insane as the ones told? And why would Sybil just make up this story for the fame if her identity was kept secret until after she died? I think these critics and nonbelievers need to take these things into consideration before making fools of themselves. It seems insane to think there is controversy over this topic, and I give Dr. Wilbur much credit for sticking with Sybil for 11 years to get to the bottom of this disorder. That lady must have been very dedicated, patient, persistent and especially noticing as she made sure she detected each of Sybil’s alters thoroughly and helped Sybil become one with these alters before just leaving Sybil to fend for herself with the traumatic experiences she couldn’t help or control. Ultimately, Dr. Wilbur’s patience all payed off as Multiple Personality Disorder, later known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, became official in the DSM thanks to her patience. After this disorder was officially released as it is said in the article, cases increasingly became more common. In my opinion, this wasn’t because of “attention-seeking copy cats”. I believe cases became more common because of all the people, anyone could have been abused in their early years of life. And as they let this affect them and learned how to deal with it, they turned to these different parts of themselves able to handle the bad memories. I would think most psychiatrists would have diagnosed this as some disorder such as Schizophrenia before their knowledge of DID. Although this disorder, DID, takes time to prove, I know it is provable and visible as shown in the movie and book of course. I feel bad that all controversy has arisen of this situation instead of accepting it, but am glad the movie has done the case justice and kept people aware that this disorder exists. Sally Field and Joanne Woodward, cast as Sybil and Dr. Wilbur, definitely made an impact on the nation about this unknown (at the time) disorder.

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  167. Up until a couple weeks ago, when my parents could call me “Sybil” I had no idea what they were talking about. They would call me by the name when I would act out and become unreasonable at the flick of a switch. Now, I understand why. “Sybil” was known for having a crazy side that would come out at random. But was it really random? I do believe that Sybil suffered from a true case of DID. When she started to really notice something strange going on with herself, she found help. The movie portrays that she was taken in by Dr. Wilbur, which raises some understandable suspicion. When Dr. Wilbur begins to dig deeper and deeper into Sybil’s subconscious, what she uncovers is too sick, too elaborate, for someone to come up with for attention on their own. I find it hard to believe that someone like Shirley Mason would want to become famous for such a disturbing past. Not to mention, she had sixteen alters. It would be pretty close to impossible to keep all of their special personalities in order for over 11 years without falter. The book and the movie did bring a lot of fame and fortune to Shirley and Dr. Wilbur, but it also brought attention to other cases like this in the world and showed that there is a cure. Explaining the spike in diagnoses of the disorder. There is a chance that others pretended to be like Sybil in hopes of receiving the same fame and fortune, but you can only lie to yourself for so long. This movie was a catalyst for a breakthrough in psychiatric study, something that money and fame could never repay. As for the fact that Shirley called for a pseudonym, I think it’s completely reasonable. Why would you want to become famous for that sole reason? People would treat her differently which could call for yet another mental break. Keeping the identities of her family secret is also very respectable. Even though her mother had done unspeakable things to her, Sybil still felt guilty for hating her mother and she will always be a part of her family. Dr. Wilbur did not use a pseudonym in the book or the movie. Some believe she did this for the fame which is again, very understandable. But maybe she did this so others like Sybil could reach out to her. How believable would this story be with a fake, unreachable doctor? On the other hand, how Dr. Wilbur treated Sybil is considered unprofessional. But how else could you work with someone with such a broken life? Sybil needed a constant in her life to uncover her dark past and Dr. Wilbur was the one. Without Dr. Wilbur's motherly nature, Sybil would have never found her peace. That’s why I believe that Shirley Mason had a true case of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

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  168. The movie Sybil was a very informative movie on dissociative identity disorder. It brought DID to attention and made people more aware of the disorder. After seeing the movie and being more informed I came to the conclusion that Sybil was a true multiple. She had a very traumatic childhood which made other identities come out within her to cover the pain. There is no way a child, adult, or anyone could make up such traumatic stories as these. They are way too weird and strange to not be true. I never thought simple household items as water could be used to harm you sexually. It goes to show that anything can hurt you. If people are sick enough then don’t put anything past them because anything can happen. There has been a lot of conflict over whether Dr. Wilbur was unethical or not. Technically speaking, Dr. Wilbur did cross ethical guidelines. I believe that it was necessary in this case. Sybil never had a mother figure and she didn’t trust anyone. In order for her to actually get the help she needed, she needed someone to show her affection and show her that most people are not going to treat you that way. If I was Dr. Wilbur I would have done the same exact thing. It is pretty much impossible to not get that close to your patient after working with them for eleven years. Plus, if she didn’t get close to Sybil then Sybil would have probably not been cured. Just by listening to a patient with DID wouldn’t help them. They need to be shown some kind of affection. If you went through a traumatic event bad enough to give you multiple personalities, wouldn’t you want someone to show you love and affection? I know I would. People without DID still want love and affection. Just imagine how much more love is needed for people with DID. Dr. Wilbur didn’t leave her name in the book and movie for the money or the fame. She wanted people to realize that this truly happened. If her name wasn’t in there then people would think it was purely fiction and not believe that this could truly happen. The fact that Dr. Wilbur helped her immensely just by talking to her is incredible. It goes to show that you need a loving, nurturing, and caring person in your life to be there for you and to take care of you. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a real problem and people need to be aware that traumatic events do scar you for life in more ways than just one.

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  169. I always knew it as Multiple personality disorder. I knew a little bit about the topic, but not enough to know it was possible for someone to have 16 different personalities. When I first heard about Multiple Personality Disorder, I thought of it more as someone being possessed. My opinion on this case? I believe that it wasn’t just made up, because it’s impossible for someone to just create 16 different personalities in their head, and be able to keep it all organized for 11 years. Sybil’s traumatic experience from the abuse from her mother had triggered Dissociative Identity Disorder. Sybil’s way of coping with this experience, daily, was dissociating into different people. Sybil realized something was wrong, when she seeked help from Dr.Wilbur, Dr.Wilbur did what she did to get to Sybil. I feel Dr.Wilbur didn’t do anything unethical, yes she did cross a line, but she did what any human being would do for a person who was in that state. I feel she did what was right, Sybil needed a motherly figure because she never knew what that was like. She needed someone who she could trust that wouldn’t hurt her, or neglect her like her mother did. She definitely deserved more loving attention from not only her mother but her father. Not all little girls beg a doctor to take them home to take care of them, not all little girls scream in terror from their shoes being too tight, and not all little girls fear their mother so much that they’ll lock themselves in a bathroom when they’re taking a bath. As a father, he should of looked into it more than just simply saying “You’re fine”. I feel the number of cases skyrocketed after the movie and the book because more and more people became more familiar with it. Yes, it’s possible there was copycats, but I guess you’d just have to trust your judgement. Above all, I enjoyed learning more about this disorder, and this specific case. It shows how much of an impact something like this has on a person. It showed that Sybil had the strength to be able to cope with something this traumatic and be able to recover from it.

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  170. Although intriguing, the case of “Sybil” leaves too many unanswered questions for me to decide whether I think she was a true multiple or not. The film was very informative, but also caused a ton of controversy. Reading the articles after the movie about people coming forward seems very odd, but since they have all died we have no true way to find out the truth. I find it hard to believe that someone could have come up and stuck to a story that corrupted for so long, but at the same time some people are mentally ill in other ways and want attention. Without any proof, we will never be sure. At this point in time we can only look forward. The “Sybil” case has taught many and will continue to teach but we simply shouldn’t dwell on it without proof. The comments made about Dr. Wilber’s relationship with “Sybil” however, do seem realistic to me. I believe that there should be a fine line involving the relations between doctors and patients but in this situation I feel as if I am in no position to ridicule Dr. Wilbur as I probably would have done the same thing she did. Seeing someone struggle as much as “Sybil” was said too, how could you not feel sympathetic and grow close to comfort them. I don’t think it was very professional of her, but desperate times call for desperate measures and given the circumstances I don’t see a huge problem with the way she acted. The more I learn about the case the more it seems real to me but I just can’t wrap my head around something this crazy without proof. Sally Field’s did such a great job in the movie portraying that it leads me to question how much was true and how much was just exaggeration for Hollywood. The publicity of the movie and book most certainly brought attention to the disease which makes me believe that the rise in number of patients with the disorder after the movie was due to people faking and wanting attention. It makes me sick to believe that people would be that low but it makes perfect sense. I have great respect for the movie and Dr. Wilbur for their work of raising awareness of the disease. The people stepping forward and claiming the hunger for fame doesn’t sell to me as she was already a successful and wealthy doctor, and left money to “Sybil.” The movie may have caused problems with many people faking the disease, but it showed how serious this stuff can be if real and no cured. All and all I think the movie and acting of “Sybil” was done wonderfully. I feel somewhat skeptical about all the abuse stories, but over all I believe that “Sybil” did struggle from childhood trauma. As to the extent of the whole story, I have my doubts. Either way, not much can be done without proof. Until the tapes of Dr. Wilbur and “Sybil’s” sessions are released, I remain unsure of which side to believe as there are things that pull me in both directions.

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  171. As a viewer, I find the whole idea of multiple personalities to be a very tricky subject, and in the case of Sybil to be even trickier because of the book and movie. The fact that these symptoms lay within the subjects brain makes it nearly impossible to diagnose, let alone try to prove if it is real. That being said, I feel it would be very hard to fake personalities, visually. What I mean is, anyone can lie and say that they hear voices, or pretend not to remember something, but to completely change your mannerisms to a new person is nearly impossible even for the best of actors. I have done theater for quite sometime now and have worked with acting coaches and they always say that you can’t get the you out of your character so find other ways to try and change it. This shows that even professionally trained actors can never completely get rid of their natural mannerisms. If you were to really study someone with Multiple Personalities for as long as Sybil was watched, you would not see their natural mannerisms repeat from character to character, unlike in someone who was faking it. After saying all of this, I have to firmly believe that Sybil most definitely had Multiple Personalities and after seeing what she went through I can understand why. Some disbelievers say that it is fake because of the huge spike after the book and movie, but I believe it was because of the increase in awareness and to see that someone was able to get treated gave people hope and courage to get treated. They also feel that the treatment she was given became inappropriate because of the close doctor relationship. I completely disagree. I feel that because this is a very personal disorder, with the fact that you have to break down personal walls and relationships that if you don't fully enjoy your doctor or trust them then you are never going to have success. Especially, with the case of Sybil she never had a close relationship with her mother so she was longing to have a parent hug her and love her. The doctor was that safe place for her and that is when she was able to open up. I personally belive what is the doctor had acted differently, or a more “professional” manner the Sybil never would have opened up or trusted her at all, more importantly Peggy never would have gone. With such a horrifying past I can’t even believe she trusted her at all , but however she managed it she did it in a correct way because the treatment worked and Sybil felt comfortable and that is all that matters in the end. So over all I found the movie and case to be amazing and horrifying all at the same time, but 100% real and appropriately handled. I would love to see how someone with more personality is able to deal with it all or to see if the more personalities you have the longer the blackout occur.

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  172. When I learned about Sybil’s case, I was surprised at how many different personalities she is believed to have had. It was unbelievable to me that one person could have sixteen personalities, and the entire concept of that was hard for me to understand. I believe that Sybil’s case was legitimate; I don’t think that Shirley Mason would have a motive for faking her own mental illness. Why would she seek help unless she was actually aware of what was going on? I don’t think that Dr. Wilbur was crossing a professional line by becoming close to Sybil. If they had worked together for eleven years, I would assume it would be hard for the two not to create an emotional bond with each other. In order for Sybil to overcome her fears and her mental illness, Dr. Wilbur may not have even had a choice in the matter. Any resemblance to Sybil’s mother, who was cold and strict, would have most likely prevented Sybil from growing comfortable with Dr. Wilbur. This would have resulted in either a longer treatment or the possibility that Sybil wouldn’t have continued with treatment. It is a possibility that the rise of reported MPD/DID cases could have resulted from the release of Shirley Mason’s case. Being aware of her illness, other people who had the condition or knew someone who did were likely to come forward and begin treatment. Also, believing that there was hope in curing this illness may have inspired some people to do something about their symptoms. Like Shirley Mason, these people probably did not have a motive to lie about having a mental illness. It seems unlikely that anyone would want to undergo long periods of treatment for a mental illness that they did not even possess. I believe that if Sybil was lying about having MPD/DID, she would not have hidden her identity and neither would Dr. Wilbur. Sybil’s dedication to hiding her identity seems legitimate towards the idea that she did in fact have MPD/DID. Also, there are many accounts in the book based on Sybil’s case stating that Sybil’s mother was most definitely odd, and everyone in their town seemed to realize it. With these account to support Sybil’s case, it is hard for me to believe that Sybil’s case was made up. There is real evidence supporting this claim and I believe that the controversy over this case is severely lacking evidence. Diagnosing MPD/DID does seem to be rather difficult. It’s impossible to truly know whether or not the mental illness is legitimate, and this may be a reason towards the controversy about Sybil’s case. But at the same time, it is also impossible to disprove the idea of MPD/DID. I do believe that it is a real diagnosis because it seems extremely unlikely that all of the people who have reported symptoms of this disorder would lie or exaggerate what they were experiencing. The treatment would be relentless, and many people in this day and age do not have the time to continue this.

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  173. Before learning about the case of “Sybil” (or Shirley Ardell Mason), I was not familiar with the causes or effects of dissociative identity disorder (DID). I used to believe that someone was naturally born with DID and it was just another unfortunate mental disorder that everyone has a chance of getting. After watching the film Sybil and reading passages from the book it was adapted from, I learned that it is actually a coping mechanism for extreme abuse that occurs when a child’s personality is still forming. By creating alternate personalities, the child can experience abuse as a different person. This saves the main personality, or waking self, from having such traumatizing and terrible memories. When a situation arises that threatens to bring the horrible memories to the surface of the waking self’s mind, the alters will appear and react to the situation. This causes frightening memory gaps for the waking self, as they will not remember anything they do or say while they were in an alter’s form. Shirley Mason is the most famous case of DID, and brought the disorder awareness through a detailed account of her experiences in a novel that was eventually adapted into a film. Through her close work with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, Shirley was able to reconnect all 16 of her personalities over the course of 11 years. Dr. Wilbur has been criticized for many reasons regarding this case. Many argue that her relationship with Shirley became too personal for her to maintain a professional, objective view of the patient. I disagree with this because Dr. Wilbur was successful in curing Shirley largely due to her compassion and comfort towards her patient. Shirley had lacked a figure in her life that was trustworthy and understanding thus far. By showing Shirley that there is good in the world and that the things her mother did to her when she was younger are no reason to live a fractured life, she enhanced the effects of her treatment. She was also criticized for using Shirley’s case as a way to profit off her unfortunate circumstances. While I understand this view, because she chose to publish her findings in a novel rather than an official peer reviewed journal, I do not think her main goal was to profit off of Shirley. She already had a successful psychiatric practice in New York City so she did not need the money or fame, and her relationship with Shirley was very loving so she would not purposefully exploit her story. After the case was publicized, the number of cases of DID went up tremendously. The symptoms of this disorder would be hard to replicate perfectly, so while it may have inspired some people to fake the disorder, it is not a scheme that would last. In actuality, I think the case just raised awareness for DID and made it a more common tool in a psychiatrist's “tool box” when diagnosing their patients. Before DID was made popular, many people were probably diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar. After reading the book or seeing the film, however, doctors and family members would be able to see that their patient or loved one was actually suffering from dissociative identity disorder.

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  174. With the release of a story depicting Sybil (Shirley Ardell Mason) who had Dissociative Identity Disorder, or Multiple Personality Disorder, awareness was raised for the disorder. With that new spotlight, though, came questions. Was the story of Sybil’s childhood real? Did Sybil have DID or MPD? Was Dr. Wilbur and Sybil’s relationship unethical?

    The movie, book, and story of Sybil is undeniably moving but is borderline disturbing.Although I do believe that these sad events did indeed happen, I must say is is unfortunate that those events happened at all. Multiple counter statements must be made about the theory that claims the movie was made for profit. First, Shirley Ardell Mason’s real name was not used meaning the real Sybil could not gain anything from the fame accumulated by the book and movie. Second, Dr. Wilbur’s name is only used for validity and to give clout to the story. Third, Dr. Wilbur had no idea that the story of Sybil would become so famous. Lastly, who could come up with a story as messed up as the one portrayed in the book and movie, it would take someone as sick as Sybil’s mother to come up with a story and clearly Dr. Wilbur nor Sybil could have been so evil to create such a wicked story meaning Sybil must have had Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder. Although it seems almost like a coincidence that the story and the disorder fit together like puzzle pieces theres more proof that Sybil had DID.

    What the book and film did for awareness of DID of MPD was tremendous. Although this case raise awareness for this terrible disorder, it sadly created fake cases and raised questions about the how real the disorder is. Once DID/MPD was added to the DSM and the release of Sybil’s story, the number of cases skyrocketed. This could be due to there being a better understanding of DID or people imitating the disorder to gain attention. DID incredibly easy to fake as the disorder is in the patient’s mind which cannot be easily observed or observed at all but after weeks of observation most imitation cases should be seen as what they really are.

    While Sybil and Dr. Wilbur’s relationship was probably past the boundaries of a normal or ethical doctor/patient relationship, it was necessary for Sybil’s recovery. Sybil lacked a loving mother role in her youth so when Dr. Wilbur treated her, she had to assume a the loving motherly role to mend Sybil’s mental wounds. Keeping in mind that Dr. Wilbur had no children of her own, after eleven years of treatment, it would be extremely hard for her to be detached from Sybil’s case. She could not be the stereotypical stone cold psychologist that is there to take notes and not get emotionally evolved because she cared for Sybil not only as a patient but as a friend.

    With all evidence present, it can be proven that the story of Sybil is undeniably true.

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  175. After watching the film Sybil in my psych class I don't see why people think Sybil was a fake or Doctor Wilbur was influencing her. I don’t think Doctor Wilbur was trying to make money off of Sybil. The alters were easily distinguishable and Sybil was losing time, not remembering what she did for hours or days at a time. She realized there was a problem and reached out for help. Doctor Wilbur answered Sybil's call for help and throughout the film you can see how she felt like a mother to Sybil and only had good intentions for her. She never tried to take advantage of her and even said it was okay if Sybil paid her whenever. It was never about money it was only about helping Sybil get through all the trauma from her childhood. Sybil had a total of 16 personalities and needed help badly. Doctor Wilbur took her in and not only treated her but cared for her. Her relationship with Sybil wasn’t crossing any lines, but I think helped speed up Sybil’s recovery. They were trying to get to memories that were guarded by 16 alters. Doctor Wilbur had to earn the trust of 16 different personalities so they would talk to her and she could uncover the dark memories of Sybil’s abuse. Without forming a bond with Sybil then the alters would of never let the doctor help. Sybil had her personality shattered into 16 parts. That doesn't happen unless she suffered something extreme. There were so many parts to her because each one took away the pain from the real Sybil so she didn't have deal with it. To bring those memories to the surface the friendship between the patient and doctor needed to be real. So Doctor Wilbur didn't do anything wrong. The number of cases most likely skyrocketed after the case was publicized because the disease was brought to light and people started to realize they might have the disease. If people started to realize they might have a mental disease then it would be stupid for them not to seek treatment. Not to say they weren't probably some fakers but trying to pretend you have one or more other personalities would be a hard thing to do for a long period of time. One question I did have after watching the film though was how Sybil couldn't paint or play the piano but the altars could? Sybil was a very interesting and sad case and I'm glad we learned about it.

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  176. There are just some things you can’t make up. Shirley Ardell Mason’s case is one of those things. I don’t believe that Shirley was a true multiple because of solely the fact that the book says so or because of Sally Field’s amazing performance, but rather, because making up 16 different alters seems impossible and highly unlikely. Also, it would take one sick and twisted mind to think up a story with the type of abuse that Shirley experienced. It’s only logical to draw the conclusion that the horrifying abuse Shirley underwent as a child led her to deal with it in the only way she knew how: create alters. Her coping method was to take any traumatic experience and give it to one of her alters that way she didn’t have to remember her past and could keep it from being dug up.
    As far as Dr. Wilbur’s relationship with Shirley goes, it’s obvious that some ethical guidelines were crossed. However, in this case, I think that the only way to fully unearth the real Shirley was to have this type of relationship. I fully empathize with Dr. Wilbur and probably would’ve done the same thing had I been in her shoes. There’s a difference between “doing your job” and “getting the job done”. Had Dr. Wilbur just been “doing her job”, she probably would’ve forever remained in a position in which Shirley did not trust her and therefore could not reveal the battle she had with her inner self. Instead, however, Dr. Wilbur went above and the beyond the calls of duty and made a connection with Shirley to help her to not only have some normalcy in her life, but give her a person she could turn to as a friend and a confidant. Shirley didn’t hadn’t had that type of relationship with anyone in her life up to that point, and finally, she did. There are sometimes when our jobs require us to follow the guidelines, but others, the only way to get the job done and really get it done is to do what feels right within our hearts. I personally believe Dr. Wilbur was doing the right thing by following her heart with Shirley and have come to respect and admire her for doing so. Was what she did unethical? Perhaps. Was it necessary? Absolutely.
    I think that MPD is undoubtedly a real thing. There’s a lot that the world of psychology still has yet to discover about our brains, so how is it possible to really rule anything out? I think that Shirley Mason’s case opened up a world of other brain disorders and shed light upon a disorder that perhaps people had heard of or were wondering more about it. With the release of “Sybil”, it only makes sense that more cases of MPD were being diagnosed throughout the U.S.. Were some fake? Probably. There are some people that will fake things to get attention and there’s just no stopping that. I do believe, though, that some of these cases were real because people were finally making the connection between what they saw and what they experienced.
    Although “Sybil” raked in some major money for Dr. Wilbur and Shirley Mason, I don’t think they did any of it for attention. Why would a woman make up a disorder in order to gain attention when her true identity wouldn’t be revealed until after her death? It doesn’t make any sense. Shirley was simply an average woman prior to her death, and the only reason Dr. Wilbur became famous was because her name was tied to the book. Again, I think I’m on Wilbur’s side. Why would you waste the time to publish your findings in some medical journal when the majority of the people you want to target can be found in their homes and would find a novel more appealing? I also can understand why Wilbur would use her real name. After 11 years with Shirley, she had become an expert on MPD. If I were her, I would want people to know that if they did experience anything similar or have any questions, they could come to me. I also have to believe that she did it for the good of the psychological community so that it could continue to grow and make new discoveries.

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  178. The case of Shirley Ardell Mason otherwise known as “Sybil” was an one of a kind case. After learning about Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) which is now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) I had a fair amount of background knowledge on this disorder before we started learning about Sybil in psychology class. After watching the movie, reading passages from the book and reading articles online Sybil's case began to get more and more interesting. I found it amazing how Sybil's mind adapted to the mortifying abuse her mother was putting her through so that she personally (in the mindset of Sybil) wouldn't remember or feel any of the pain. Her alters would take her mind over and endure the abuse for Sybil.
    I believe that Sybil was the true multiple. With the lack of knowledge on DID at the time of Sybil’s diagnosis I find it hard to believe that she would have made up sixteen elaborate personalities. She reported many times about “losing time” also. Without a person planning out each alter and doing extensive research on the disease no one would be able to get a psychologist to diagnose them with DID. With the treatment that doctor Wilbur performed on Sybil lead her to reveal horrifying things from her past that no one who was in the right mind could lie about.
    Sybil always lacked a mother figure in her life, she looked up greatly to her grandmother but her mother would always take her away from her and then perform the abuse ritual on Sybil when she was a young girl, starting at only six months of age. With always seeing her mother as a predator I believe that to be able to help Sybil cope with the personalities and cure her she needed to have a relationship with doctor Wilbur. Yes, I can see why people may call the relationship between Dr. Wilbur and Sybil inappropriate but this is what Sybil needed. Also they worked intensively for eleven years together, I find it near impossible to work with someone for that long and not become close with them. Other people say that Dr. Wilbur only published her case with Sybil because she wanted money, or to get her name out there. People have said that she should've switched her own name in the movie like she did with all of the other characters in the movie but I believe that there had to be some legitimacy in the movie to make people believe in the true story so giving the name of the real doctor who worked with Sybil for that length of time validated the story of the movie even more.
    Lastly the amount of cases of DID to be diagnosed after the book and movie were made public skyrocketed because it raised more awareness to this disorder. Yes, there will always be people out there who will do things like fake disorders to receive special attention but all together it was due to the fact of the new found information. Before the Sybil case DID was a unknown disorder, once Sybil was diagnosed it lead to special documents, movies,articles and many other things that can help correctly diagnose the disorder.

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  179. Sybil was a woman that I believe truly had multiple personality disorder. Sybil clearly experienced multiple personalities to the point where she couldn’t function in her normal day-to-day life. She was a troubled woman that needed eleven years of help to be able to fully function normally. Hearing how long treatment was needed is a clear indication of the hardship and realness of this disease she experienced. Her alters were all of her ways to cope with her traumatic abuse. All of the alters came out always in the certain experiences that she was trying to protect herself from. If all of these alters and this disorder weren’t true, it would be extremely unlikely for Sybil to be able to, for eleven years, be able to bring out these personalities every time she was uncomfortable in a situation and have absolutely no recollection of the events her alters experienced. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Wilber was her psychiatrist through her whole journey. I think it is expected and needed to have a strong relationship with a patient like Sybil. It was evident that Sybil had trust issues and didn’t like to let anyone into her life or even offer a hug. The only way Sybil would be able to overcome her trauma and be able to let someone into her life was for Dr. Wilber to develop strong relationship with her. Also, the strong mother figure that Dr. Wilber acted as while treating Sybil was a first step for Sybil to open up and without that, I feel like the treatment for Sybil wouldn’t have been as successful. I feel like Dr. Wilbur did what she had to do to accomplish the main goal at hand, to cure Sybil of her DID. Since the treatment lasted eleven years, of course both Sybil and Dr. Wilbur would develop a strong relationship with each other. The allegations that Dr. Wilbur was being unprofessional and unethical with this case to me is far from true. Putting that much time into each other and then after eleven years saying goodbye and never talking again would be ridiculous. Anyone spending eleven years together, especially healing them of their illness, wouId feel more than inclined to keep in touch and have a strong relationship with that person. feel like the number of cases for this disease increased because of the awareness Sybil brought to it. Before the case of Sybil, DID was not considered a real psychological disorder. This disease wasn’t taken seriously so most psychiatrists wouldn’t diagnose someone with this disorder because DID wasn’t well accepted. I feel like DID or MPD is an extremely valid diagnosis. This disease is caused by extreme trauma and abuse. Why someone gets this disease makes complete sense. The person experiencing this traumatic event dissociates themselves to the point where they believe no abuse happened to them, it was just one of their alters. From the film portrayal, it was clear that a person experiencing DID was not themselves when asked to recall certain memories or when put in difficult situations. This disease seemed clear to diagnose after spending several sessions with Sybil.

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  180. Multiple personality disorder is a very serious disorder that generally occurs when a person has experienced extreme trauma. With this disorder the brain pulls the person’s consciousness away and brings out “someone else” to experience the trauma the person is going through so when they come back they won’t remember what happened. In the case of Sybil, she underwent extreme abuse since she was very young. I personally do believe that Sybil was a true multiple. I don’t think that someone could just make up the things that she went through as a child. Also there was almost no way for her to go through that kind of abuse without some sort of effect on her. Dr. Wilbur did do some unethical things during the treatment but there was no possible way to not get as close to Sybil as she did. Since many of Sybil’s altars were young children it would have been very difficult to get information if she didn't nurture the altar some. At times I’m sure this was the only way she could get information from Sybil or one of the altars. Sybil needed a loving friend that cared for her the way her mother didn't. I believe that the awareness of multiple personality disorder went up after this case was published is because doctors became more aware of it and of the symptoms. I don’t think that people would fake having multiple personalities. It’s not something that seems very appealing. However, some people could do it. There is no way of knowing if a person was faking or not because we aren't inside their heads and we don’t know what they are thinking. However, I don’t think that the increase in patients with multiple personality disorder was due to people faking that they had multiple personalities. I believe that the increase was due to the awareness that the case brought. Psychiatrists and psychologists became more aware of the symptoms and had an idea of what could possibly be going on with a patient. I believe that Dr. Wilbur did the right thing with the book and the movie. Without either not many people would understand the disorder or even be aware of it. Even though people say that it wasn't right that she published a book instead of publishing the case in a psychology journal, I believe that it was the right thing for her to do. She was able to reach a wider range of people and educate them on this little known disorder. She also did the right thing in not changing her name. By not changing her name in the book she was able to give the case legitimacy and not make it a purely fictional story. She wanted people to become more aware of this disorder and she did it successfully. I don’t think that Dr. Wilbur was in it for the money. I truly believe that she wanted to help Sybil and she published the book and allowed for the film because she wanted to educate people on multiple personality disorder. I don’t see anything wrong with what she did with Sybil’s case.

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  181. I feel that “Sybil”, Shirley Ardell Mason was a true multiple personality patient and wasn’t just faking her condition. Shirley had 16 different personalities including the “waking self”, which is Shirley herself. If Shirley was indeed pretending to be suffering from MPD/DID she most likely wouldn’t have been able to keep all the different personalities exactly the same as they have been documented and not cause discrepancies. Shirley’s story never changed, therefore it gives more weight to the diagnosis of MPD/DID. Besides the fact that the story of “Sybil” never changed there was also the fact that the underlying childhood abuse that caused Shirley to create multiple personalities was so horrific that nobody could ever fathom. Shirley was both physically and sexually abused by her own mother. Knowing that Dr. Wilbur took an unconventional approach in trying to treat Shirley’s case of MPD/DID. Many people feel that Dr. Wilbur was unethical in the way she treated Shirley and also in the way they became close friends afterwards. However, seeing how Shirley’s MPD was directly caused by her mother’s abuse it seems fitting that the way to help cure her MPD was for Dr. Wilbur to take on a motherly role and show her not all mothers are bad and it wasn’t anything to be scared of that it was just her mother. If Dr. Wilbur stayed distant and professional the whole time she was treating Shirley it may have come across to her that she didn’t care about her just as Shirley’s mother didn’t. Dr. Wilbur treated Shirley for 11 years and during that time she helped Shirley become whole again. She knew more about what Shirley had gone through in her life than even Shirley knew at one point. It only made sense that Shirley and Dr. Wilbur would be close after the treatment of Shirley’s MPD since Dr. Wilbur had helped her through such a hard time in her life and she trusted her. Dr. Wilbur and Shirley met with a journalist to have Shirley’s case of MPD/DID publicized. Since the publishing of Shirley’s case the number of MPD/DID diagnosed skyrocketed. The publication led to the disorder being placed into the DSM which is the book used to diagnose patients of other doctors. Now that is in the book used to diagnose patients it makes sense that the number of cases diagnosed would go up drastically. Before doctors weren’t aware of the disorder and therefore weren’t diagnosing people that most likely had it before it was placed in the DSM. People saw how much the diagnosis of MPD went up after the publication of Shirley’s case and were worried that it was due to people faking the symptoms. However, I would be more worried if the number of cases diagnosed didn’t go up after being placed in the DSM which occurred after Shirley’s case was published.

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  182. In the case of Sybil Dorsett many points have been argued. Such as, whether “Sybil” was ever a true multiple. Shirley Mason was a real person whom I think truly had multiple alters whom helped her overcome severe abuse. Although the pain she endured by the hand of her mother is almost unthinkable it did happen, her other identities and the abuses were not made up in my opinion. Some argue that Dr. Wilbur crossed lines in terms of ethics in that she befriended Shirley. The two stayed in contact for years after completing treatment. This basis of this argument is true in that she did break protocol. Nonetheless, criticising her because of this fact is not right. It is my belief that any person would bond with another person after spending 11 years working together, especially when one of those persons comes in close contact with the pain that the other had endured. This is a natural reaction, therefore to criticise Dr. Wilbur for feeling love is perfunctory and childish. If I was Dr. Wilbur I would be unable to be distant and unfeeling towards Sybil. Also, it is my opinion that Dr. Wilbur is the second strongest person, after Sybil, for seeing and hearing the abuse that Shirley endured yet pushed the treatment along for the betterment of Shirley. Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder is a real pathological illness, I believe. The fact that someone could make up entire other lives and personalities, in order to surmount countless inflictions of pain, is too horrible to be false. The disorder is hard to prove but that does not negate it as a legitimate illness. Dr. Wilbur approached the publishing of the case in the most productive possible way. I think that albeit the case was not written in the traditional way (in a peer reviewed journal), it is still valid. More than just the professional world needed to hear about the case and to become aware of the validity of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The book lead to Multiple Personality Disorder being added to the DSM. This fact made treatment for the disorder more available to practicing psychiatrists at the time. Soon after the publication of the case the number of diagnosed cases of DID shot through the roof. However, I do not believe that the adding of the disorder to the DSM played a major part in that spike. In my opinion, the reason the number of cases increased is due to people pretending to suffer from the disorder. Because the book was so widely read and the movie was so well received, people of all walks of life were given a model to follow in order to draw attention to themselves. The movie adaptation was incredible for so many reasons. Sally Field perfectly formed the character Sybil believably. The movie really made DID real and not a distant idea, in that the audience automatically connected with Sybil and saw her as any one of them. Because of the movie the disorder became more relative and less like a disorder “that could happen to someone, but not to me.”

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  183. I do believe that “Sybil” really did suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder. To say that Wilbur “made” her have multiple personalities while under hypnosis just for fame and money, doesn’t really line up. Maybe I’m just little minded, but I think it’s crazy to think that you’d actually be able to convince someone of that, even if you put them under hypnosis. But how on earth would she even be able to come up with 16 different personalities and keep them straight in her mind and also teach them all to “Sybil” while convincing her it’s true. That way, she would have gotten her money from the book sooner. Also, there’d have to be something messed up with Dr. Wilbur of she were able to come up with such a screwy backstory. Likewise, you would think that if Dr. Wilbur were actually able to convince “Sybil” that she had multiple personalities, she’d also be able to “connect” them for her in less than 11 years. Also, if it were just for the money, why would she leave “Sybil” any money? Better yet, why would she give “Sybil” sharings of the profit made from the book and movie being sold. Also, looking at it from another angle, what “Sybil” went through with her mother seems way too dark, twisted and intricate for Dr. Wilbur to come up with all on her own. Plus, the people in “Sybil’s” community attested to her mother being a little more than odd. Although some of the things Dr. Wilbur did in order to cure “Sybil” may have been classified as unethical, they also may very well have been the only way to cure her. Dealing with someone who has dealt with as much abuse and rejection as “Sybil” has calls for something a little different than the average joe. Maybe Dr. Wilbur provided exactly what she needed in order to break out of her “shell”- a motherly figure. I think that the number of cases in Dissociative Identity Disorder went up so much after this case was publicized both because doctor’s became more aware and educated on this disorder AND because attention seekers (or people with other psychological disorders that crave attention) were able to use the case as building blocks to building their own number of identities. Being that Sally Field’s did such a good job at portraying what it’s like to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, it made it possible for someone to fake their own story. That being said, doctors also became a lot more aware of how Dissociative Identity Disorder works and how someone who suffers from this Psychological Disorder might behave. Because that, they probably were able to diagnose a lot more people with it that maybe should have been before but weren’t due to the lack of knowledge. Regardless of any of this, "Sybil" clearly had a really traumatic childhood. Already we know that we tend to push the bad things out of our memories. Since "Sybil's" case was so extreme, it's entirely possible that she took "forgetting the bad memories" to a totally different level and created 16 alters of herself just to protect herself.

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  184. After watching the movie Sybil, and hearing what happened. I believe it was a very hard case to work with. It took Dr. Wilbur eleven years to piece the case together and come to a conclusion to what happened. Sybil’s case was known as a Dissociative Identity Disorder. Sybil’s real name was Shirley Ardell mason but she was referred to as Sybil to keep her identity a low profile. Shirley didn't want people to know about her disorder so only the people that were her friends and family knew who the stories were referring to when her case was published to the world. Dr. Wilbur kept her name the same so that people knew that she really did work with Sybil and that the whole case wasn't a fraud.
    Although Dr. Wilbur’s relationship may have been considered as unethical and crossed the lines in many different ways, I feel like their relationship was fine. Dr. Wilbur spent eleven years of her life helping Sybil and trying to figure out her problems. If you spent that much time with someone and learned what they went through as a child wouldn't you grow close to the person and want to be friends with them? Sybil was sexually and physically abused by her mom when she was a little girl. Her mom may have had schizophrenia but no one knows for sure what was wrong with her. Dr. Wilbur had to go back to the house that Sybil grew up in and went to the wheat bin that her mother had locked Sybil up in. When Dr. Wilbur opened up the wheat bin, she saw the purple marks that Sybil had scratched in to one side of the bin with a purple crayon. Dr. Wilbur brought that piece of wood with the purple markings back to Sybil to show her that everything she was thinking about was true and that none of it was made up. All of the bad stuff Sybil was remembering and thinking of really did happen, it was all true.
    I do believe this is a valid diagnosis because Sybil had 16 different personalities in her lifetime. She would believe that she was different characters in different situations. These situations were like when she heard the water dripping in a sink which reminded her of the bag her mother would fill up to put inside of her and the light was the light that her mother tied the rope to to hold her legs in the air where her mom could then abuse her. It took eleven years of hard work to get Sybil to believe that she was only Sybil and no one else.

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  185. I believe that the story Sybil is very true. I feel that there could be no way it isn’t true, with these horrible allegations, and happenings. It didn’t really seem real to me for someone to have more than one personality, or alters, but as we watched the movie, I began to understand more about why would something like this happen. I understand how it happened, for a child that young to have experienced a mother like Sybil’s, anyone would have had to do something to cope! She had so many of these different alters because she was trying anything she could do to hide the pain and get rid of these horrible memories that she has faced. It’s very chilling to read what she had gone through, how could anyone do such horrid things to a young, innocent child, who is just old enough to walk, and talk.
    There is a lot of talk about why doctor Wilbur wanted the book to be a novel, and not research paper, is because I feel like she wanted Sybil to be as normal as possible, by hiding her identity until her death, and putting out her life as a story, not a criminal case.
    I also think that Dr. Wilbur didn’t ever overstep the line of being professional. I think that Sybil was truly so emotionally ruined, she needed someone like Dr. Wilbur to hug her, and tell her she loved her, because she never had anyone like that in her life, except her grandmother, who died when Sybil was young. Dr. Wilbur needed to be her savior, and to get her threw this mess that was created to cope with her trauma as a young child, from abuse from her mother. I don’t think anyone tried making this up for money, I believe they wanted to help others come out with this similar disorder, and to get professional help to cope with it. After the movie came out, many, many people came out with their disorder to try to get help for it.

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  187. To me, this case can never be proven or disproven. Since therapists can never truly get inside Sybil’s head, they can never truly know whether or not she had DID or was making everything up as she went. Again I both don’t believe and don’t not believe that Sybil had multiple personalities, so I have no definitive answer. Dr. Wilbur could have some part in having the personalities be created on the spot, but there is no evidence to prove or disprove this so my answer is still indefinite. Do to how simple the disorder was to people, it could be faked easily and the doctors wouldn’t be able to disprove their case. There may have been some people who may of actually had the disorder, but there is no true way of telling the difference between someone faking the disorder and someone who actually had it. Do to how well Sally Field was able to portray someone with DID people realized that they could fake the disorder if they had excellent acting skills. So there were then some cases where someone could come in, act like they had the disorder, and be able to go around saying they had DID; when they didn’t. As I said previously, there is no way of proving or disproving that Sybil really had this disorder. Doctors have no way of being able to look inside someone’s brain and see the chemicals and brain waves shift in some way so even though this disorder is considered a legit disorder they are stuck with a “Schrodinger’s cat”; never knowing if the cat is dead or not until the box is opened.

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