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Thread: Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

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    Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

    When Sybil first came out in 1973, not only did it shoot to the top of the best-seller lists it manufactured a psychiatric phenomenon. The book was billed as the true story of a woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder. Within a few years of its publication, reported cases of multiple personality disorder now known as dissociative identity disorder leapt from fewer than 100 to thousands. But in a new book, Sybil Exposed, writer Debbie Nathan​ argues that most of the story is based on a lie.
    Shirley Mason, the real Sybil, grew up in the Midwest in a strict Seventh-day Adventist family. As a young woman she was emotionally unstable, and she decided to seek psychiatric help. Mason became unusually attached to her psychiatrist, Dr. Connie Wilbur, and she knew that Wilbur had a special interest in multiple personality disorder.
    "Shirley feels after a short time, that she is not really getting the attention she needs from Dr. Wilbur," Nathan explains. "One day, she walks into Dr. Wilbur's office and she says, 'I'm not Shirley. I'm Peggy.' ... And she says this in a childish voice. ... Shirley started acting like she had a lot of people inside her."

    <snip>


    Reading through Schreiber's papers, Nathan says it becomes obvious that the writer knew that Mason's story was not entirely true. Memories of a traumatic tonsillectomy, for instance, morphed into a lurid story of abuse. And Schreiber seemed eager to pump up or even create drama where none existed. But if Schreiber had doubts, she suppressed them.
    "She already had a contract and she already had a deadline," Nathan says. "She was in the middle of writing the book. So she had the dilemma all journalists have nightmares about what if my thesis turns out to be wrong as I do my research but it's too late?"
    At one point, Mason tried to set things straight. She wrote a letter to Wilbur admitting that she had been lying: "I do not really have any multiple personalities," she wrote. "I do not even have a 'double.' ... I am all of them. I have been lying in my pretense of them." Wilbur dismissed the letter as Mason's attempt to avoid going deeper in her therapy. By now, says Nathan, Wilbur was too heavily invested in her patient to let her go.

    Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake : NPR

    What some people will do for fame and fortune.......

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    Re: Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

    One only has to read about supposed alien abductions to know that people will do or say anything for fame/fortune. Oh, and Balloon Boy.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

    Is this just now becoming news? This came out decades ago when Ms Ardell-Mason visited another psychiatrist and asker her if she wanted her to 'become' someone else to deal with a problem like she had been encouraged to do in the past. All of the personalities were 'fake'. She had voluntary/intentional MPD. And its true...we went from having a handfull of truly documented cases of unexplainable MPD to an explosion of persons labelled w/ MPD. Not unlike the bipolar diagnosis.

    There are some very interesting cases of MPD/DID that bear studying. One fo the more interesting cases was that of Billy Milligan. I never had the opportunity to interview Milligan but i did interview Daniel Keyes who wrote a book about him. He wont go into much detail, probably because of the ongoing legal challenges, but he was definitely impacted by Milligan. Everything is explainable...there is nothign magical to the dissociative episodes. But the difference between someone acting as a multiple and truly 'being' one is night and day...and not hard to distinguish.

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    Re: Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

    I worked in child protection and foster care before retirement. I have seen fractured personalities in teenagers that have experienced severe and ongoing child abuse before they were age seven. It was heartbreaking to watch these children struggle with a phenomenon they did not want and could not control. There are people with this disorder who are not faking it, but it is certainly not as common as the media would have you believe.

    I remember reading Sybil when it came out in 1973 and thinking then that it did not meet the smell test. The reason for me wwas behaviors and thoughts described in the book that did not mesh with what I had seen and heard from young abuse victim struggling with MPD.
    Last edited by Frolicking Dinosaurs; 10-20-11 at 12:13 PM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

    I actually read that book. At the time I didn't seriously think much about the validity of her condition. The book was engaging enough and entertaining so I just got into it. I do remember thinking that 16 personalities seemed a bit far fetched. I am pretty sure I read All About Eve too or did I see just the movie?

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