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Sybil. Sedici maschere su un unico volto: storia di una donna divisa fra sedici esistenze

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Ecco l'incredibile vera storia di Sybil Dorsett, sopravvissuta ad una terribile infanzia di abusi che da adulta è vittima di improvvisi e misteriosi blackout. Quello che succede durante questi blackout ha fatto diventare l'esperienza di Sybil uno dei casi psicologici più famosi del mondo.


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Ecco l'incredibile vera storia di Sybil Dorsett, sopravvissuta ad una terribile infanzia di abusi che da adulta è vittima di improvvisi e misteriosi blackout. Quello che succede durante questi blackout ha fatto diventare l'esperienza di Sybil uno dei casi psicologici più famosi del mondo.

30 review for Sybil. Sedici maschere su un unico volto: storia di una donna divisa fra sedici esistenze

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Another old book review from my blog: This was one seriously fucked up book. I have never seen the movie but, of course, knew what I was in for when I got the book. The name "Sybil" is very well known, and carries some stigma, in pop culture. However, I had no concept of the extent or the perversity of Sybil's mother's abuse which had been the prime instigation for Sybil's dissociations. When I was reading the sections describing what she had done to her daughter, I was literally beating my head Another old book review from my blog: This was one seriously fucked up book. I have never seen the movie but, of course, knew what I was in for when I got the book. The name "Sybil" is very well known, and carries some stigma, in pop culture. However, I had no concept of the extent or the perversity of Sybil's mother's abuse which had been the prime instigation for Sybil's dissociations. When I was reading the sections describing what she had done to her daughter, I was literally beating my head with the book and saying "That's so fucked up!" out loud. (Good thing there was nobody around to hear me except for Magnum). As far as writing style, I wouldn't say it was the best. A little too clinical in the language, and a little lacking in the dramatic elements. I am sure this is mostly due to the fact that the author (Flora Rheta Schreiber) was a psychiatrist, and this was one of her first (only?) novels. Not to mention that most of the conversations in the book were probably transcribed from tapes. But despite slightly distracting writing quality imperfections, this book was completely absorbing. The more I got to know about Sybil and the strange ways her unconscious had devised to help her cope with her abusive childhood, the more I felt like I was losing my own mind. It was strange, to ponder upon the potential psychoses that our brains/minds are capable of. It seems that no matter how normal we might tell ourselves we are, there are so many things we can't remember....so many events in our childhoods that can only be known through other people telling us...it's frightening to wonder where those memories are, and if there is some unconscious self lying beneath our conscious personality that is hoarding those memories from us, or, from a different perspective, is protecting those memories...and yet they are inaccessible to our waking self. These are the kind of things I found myself thinking about on the bus, or walking down the street, while reading this book. Also, it was my first step away from sci fi/fantasy in some time, and it opened my mind up to new knowledge of psychology and psychoanalysis that I found fascinating and plenty of food for thought. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the mysteries of the human mind.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra

    A nasty piece of work. What's worse is it's a fraud. "Sibyl's" doctor manipulated her with drug dependency and emotional blackmail into agreeing with the doctor's pet theories about multiple personalities, which had catastrophic effects on psychology for decades. It's like reading a transcript of a witch trial confession. This book does a serious disservice to abuse victims.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I had to read this in high school for my Psychology class. I'd never heard of Sybil or multiple personalities. I was so skeptical about all of it that when I read the book I had a hard time stopping with the class. We weren't allowed to read ahead and I was chomping at the bit to read the ending. Great book and side note... the movie is just as good. Sally Field was superb in it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This book is one of the most disgusting books ever written. For all of you about to read this book, thinking it's a true story, please read the following: This book was the brainchild of three women: Cornelia Wilbur, Shirley Mason, and Flora Schreiber. Shirley, or "Sybil" as she's known, did not suffer from DID. She actually had Pernicious Anemia. Extensive research has been done on Sybil's case, and it has been proven that the entire book was fictious. Shirley developed all of her "personalities" This book is one of the most disgusting books ever written. For all of you about to read this book, thinking it's a true story, please read the following: This book was the brainchild of three women: Cornelia Wilbur, Shirley Mason, and Flora Schreiber. Shirley, or "Sybil" as she's known, did not suffer from DID. She actually had Pernicious Anemia. Extensive research has been done on Sybil's case, and it has been proven that the entire book was fictious. Shirley developed all of her "personalities" after working with Dr. Wilbur. In fact, when talking to another theripest, Shirley asked if he wanted her to "act like Marcia," and when he said no, she said, "Oh, Connie is always telling me to act like Peggy or Tim, or...." It is not entirely Dr. Wilburs fault however. Flora was doubting SHirley's story, and to make her stay with the project, Shirley gave her a journal from 1941, with proof that she had been switching personalities before meeting Connie. It was later proven to be written in 1945, because Shirley said she had been reading a book not published in 1941, and the journal was written in ballpoint...which didn't exist in 1941. Instead of reading Sybil, read Sybil Exposed. It's the true story, of the three womens lives, and is factual and much more interesting.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و یکم ماه فوریه سال 1985 میلادی عنوان: سی بل؛ نویسنده: فلورا ریتل شرایبر؛ مترجم: عباس داوری؛ تهران، کاج، 1363؛ در 308 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1364؛ چاپ سوم 1365؛ چاپ چهارم تهران، خامه، 1369؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، مهتاب، نغمه، 1376، شابک: 9649124840؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نغمه، 1384، در 358 ص، چاپ دیگر: تهران، نغمه، 1395، در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9789649134840؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه بیماران چند شخصیتی - قرن 20 م زندگی یک دانشجوی هنر در دانشگاه کلمبیا به نام «سیبل آن دورست» است که ا Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و یکم ماه فوریه سال 1985 میلادی عنوان: سی بل؛ نویسنده: فلورا ریتل شرایبر؛ مترجم: عباس داوری؛ تهران، کاج، 1363؛ در 308 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1364؛ چاپ سوم 1365؛ چاپ چهارم تهران، خامه، 1369؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، مهتاب، نغمه، 1376، شابک: 9649124840؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نغمه، 1384، در 358 ص، چاپ دیگر: تهران، نغمه، 1395، در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9789649134840؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه بیماران چند شخصیتی - قرن 20 م زندگی یک دانشجوی هنر در دانشگاه کلمبیا به نام «سیبل آن دورست» است که از اختلال هویت رنج میبرد. در این داستان اختلالی که در نتیجه تجارب دردناک دوران کودکی این دختر جوان منجر به شکل گیری چهارده شخصیت متفاوت در او شده بود، به تصویر کشیده شده است. کتاب «سی بل» در سال 1974 میلادی منتشر شد؛ که در آن شرح نحوه ی تشخیص یک مورد از حالت چند شخصیتی به صورت مشروح در مورد خانمی با نام مستعار «سی بل میلا» شرح داده شده است. در حدود شش سال پس از انتشار کتاب، موضوع حقانیت و علمی بودنِ تشخیص بیماران چند شخصیتی، که مورد قبول و تائید محافل پزشکی قرار گرفته بود، با عنوان اختلال چند شخصیتی، در کتاب تشخیص بیماریهای روانی چاپ شد. تضادها و اختلافهای زیادی هنوز در مورد چهره های شاخص و مشهور چند شخصیتی از جمله: «سی بل»، وجود داشته و هنوز هم وجود دارند. برخی حتی هنوز هم بر این باور هستند و تشخیص بیماری این فرد را؛ نتیجه ی روشهای تشخیصی و درمانی، پزشک درمانگر او میدانند. این در حالی ست که گروهی دیگر از صاحب نظران روش تشخیصی و درمانی موجود در کتاب «سی بل» را کاملاً علمی و واقعی میپدارند، و پزشک معالج او دکتر «کرنلیا ب ویلبر» را تحسین، و روش کار او را تائید میکنند. ا. شربیانی

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara W

    This was a very fascinating and at times very disturbing book. I probably would have given it 4 stars, but I made the mistake of looking up details about this woman online prior to finishing the book which really changed my feelings about the actual author and doctor involved. Apparently this woman's story is very controversial in the mental health field. Had I known that, I would have finished the book prior to looking up details online (more on this under "spoiler"), and I would suggest that i This was a very fascinating and at times very disturbing book. I probably would have given it 4 stars, but I made the mistake of looking up details about this woman online prior to finishing the book which really changed my feelings about the actual author and doctor involved. Apparently this woman's story is very controversial in the mental health field. Had I known that, I would have finished the book prior to looking up details online (more on this under "spoiler"), and I would suggest that if you read this book, don't look up stuff online until you finish it. ***SPOILER*** Ok, this spoiler isn't really about things in the book itself, but about the book's publication. Apparently it's not really clear if this woman actually had multiple personalities. Supposedly another doctor was asked if he wanted to be involved in this book, and he said no because he did not consider Sybil a multiple personality - he thought Sybil's main doctor led Sybil to believe she had multiple personalities. The author supposedly stated that the publisher wanted a book about a multiple personality, so they had to write it that way. Regardless of what is true, it really changed my perception of the book. What started out as fascinating to me suddenly looked like it was exploiting this poor, sick woman. It's even in the book that Sybil's main doctor introduces her to the author, and it seems like they wanted to write a book about Sybil before they even consulted her. By the end, I just felt like the doctor and author were trying to make a quick buck off of Sybil which was really sad because she trusted them (the profits of the book were apparently split three ways amongst the doctor, author and patient). In addition, the book has a "happy ending" finish, but that's not really how things turned out (although, in defense of the author, things may have been really good when the book was published - Sybil lived about another 25 years, so the sadder things I read about her may have occurred after the book came out).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    As a YA librarian I get tons upon tons of requests for A Child Called It, a fantastically horrible memoir about a childhood spent living with an abusive mother. I frequently get questions from other librarians that go something like "why do teens like to read that junk?" Well, it wasn't that long ago that adults all over the country were caught up in Sybil, a book that is the grandfather of the tragic childhood memoir. When Sybil came to Dr. Wilbur for analysis, there wasn't a lot of material on As a YA librarian I get tons upon tons of requests for A Child Called It, a fantastically horrible memoir about a childhood spent living with an abusive mother. I frequently get questions from other librarians that go something like "why do teens like to read that junk?" Well, it wasn't that long ago that adults all over the country were caught up in Sybil, a book that is the grandfather of the tragic childhood memoir. When Sybil came to Dr. Wilbur for analysis, there wasn't a lot of material on multiple personalities (now called dissociative identity disorder). Part of the way through the process of analysis, the doctor invited a writer to come and document the case since it was both rare and scarcely written about in the literature. The result is this book. Schreiber does a so-so job of elucidating the psychoanalytic process between Wilber and Sybil for the reader. You get to hear about the details of Sybil's childhood including some pretty nasty bits about her abusive mother and absent father. Meeting all sixteen of her personalities and learning about the doctor's various hypotheses about their emergence is pretty interesting too. However the process of Sybil's integration will seem dated to today's reader. Dr. Wilbur's has a Freudian approach to psychoanalysis, which finds her focusing mostly on events in Sybil's childhood that she comes to believe are responsible for personality splits that began as early as age 2 1/2. Finally, it's only with hypnosis that the doctor is able to achieve any semblance of integration. One of the weirdest aspects of the book are the passages in which the author refers to herself in the third person. During the course of writing the book, Schreiber, like Dr. Wilber, became friendly with her subject. While it's probably natural to become close to a subject during the course of what were probably intense interviews, it does through a certain light on the written material presented in the book. I would recommend this book to people with a penchant for reading memoirs or for those that like to read about abnormal psychology. As a case study, Sybil remains one of the most controversial written accounts. It will probably remain controversial, as it is unlikely that her psychiatric files will be released and, I think, people will always be reluctant to believe that parents are capable of doing great harm to their own children if so inclined.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    10/8 - I have been wanting to read this for nearly two decades, since I first heard about the 'case' when I was 12 or 13. In those intervening 18 years I've seen the Sally Field movie and learned the truth behind this story, but I'm still fascinated by the idea of true DID and even if I have to treat it as a fictional account of DID I'm excited to start reading it tonight. To be continued... Later - The fraudulent nature of this book aside, the writing is annoying the hell out of me - it's way to 10/8 - I have been wanting to read this for nearly two decades, since I first heard about the 'case' when I was 12 or 13. In those intervening 18 years I've seen the Sally Field movie and learned the truth behind this story, but I'm still fascinated by the idea of true DID and even if I have to treat it as a fictional account of DID I'm excited to start reading it tonight. To be continued... Later - The fraudulent nature of this book aside, the writing is annoying the hell out of me - it's way too flowery. In the preface Schreiber talks about her other publications, most of which are psychiatry journal articles (and the like), and it's plain to see that this was her first full length novel. She knows she needs to engage the reading public, who aren't her normal audience of fellow doctors, and she knows she can't do that with the dry language of a medical journal. Unfortunately she goes way too far in her attempt to not be dry. Sentences like "The key to room 1113 was the engine that drove her, the motor on which her panic turned." and She was ready to go wherever the bus would take her, anywhere, everywhere, world beyond, world without end - anywhere." smack of trying too hard. I mean what on earth does "...world beyond, world without end..." mean in he context of the situation Sybil has found herself in (she's 'woken up' in an unknown city with no idea how she got there, she walks for ages through deserted streets till finally finding a bus which she gets on figuring it'll take her towards civilisation)? I can suspend my sense of injustice at what the patient was coerced into believing, but I'm not sure I can suspend my annoyance with the writing at the same time. As I said before, I've wanted to read this for ages and it's a gigantic disappointment to be feeling this negatively verbose only nine pages in (not counting numerous pages of preface). I feel like this is where Multiple Personality Disorder, now Dissociative Identity Disorder, became known to the wider public. Despite being revealed to be fake this book brought a real, though in truth very rare, disorder out of the stuff of myths and legends, something of a silver lining (in that despite none of this book being true, the disorder was no longer completely unheard of) for real suffers. To be continued... 12/8 - On page 45 - Why do we care that her bra is tiny? And if there's a good reason for knowing this inconsequential fact, why isn't it followed up with more information relating to the size of her bra? I don't know, I just found the fact that Schreiber took the time to comment on such a silly little thing strange. 13/8 - This book seems to have a DID of its own. The first chapter was the immature child who tried too hard for affection (using stupid, nonsensical, flowery phrases in a medical true story, pseudo or not, doesn't endear the reading public), but from the second chapter on (where Schreiber begins to detail Sybil's experience with Dr Wilbur from the beginning) we've been reading from a much more assured and confident writer. The idea that you could experience an emotional moment at the funeral of a loved one, and then wake up at school two years later is terrifying. I can't imagine what that would have been like for a sufferer who actually went through something similar. I don't know how anyone could go through that alone without any understanding of what was happening, without believing that they had truly gone crazy. To be continued... 14/8 - The atrocities that are described here, that were perpetrated on Sybil, are beyond belief, beyond my imagining. The description of the cold water enema was very disturbing. If you haven't got a strong tolerance for unsanitised descriptions of extreme child (and I mean toddler) abuse there are a couple of chapters you should definitely skip - 14 and 15 will not be good for your mental health. All I can say is I hope to God Wilbur didn't hypnotise 'Sybil' into believing this happened to her (if indeed, none of this story is true. The thought that a patient might be 'given' these memories because the doctor didn't know what she was doing and was over-eager at the possibility of discovering a 'modern' sufferer of DID, makes me sick. Every time Schreiber writes about what Dr Wilbur was thinking after a session with Sybil I can clearly hear Wilbur's excitement at exploring the personalities, being successful in her treatment of Sybil, becoming world famous as the psychoanalyst who 'cured' the most extreme case of DID ever documented. Every time I imagine her I see her eyes with dollar signs spinning in them, like in the cartoons. I don't see her as doing any of this altruistically (despite her claim of feeling like a friend towards Sybil during their trip to the country), she just wants to publish journal articles on the fascinating case of 'Sybil'.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    I read this at 17, doing work training at aa psychiatric hospital and imagining that I had found out what I wanted to do. I liked the book fine - although I struggled with the narrative. One thing I had issues with was that Sybild, being obviously severely so disturbed, could pose as quite balanced and 'normal' in her everyday life. The was certainly not what I saw in the patients I met and interacted with every day. At about half the book I made the mistake of asking a professor about it and he I read this at 17, doing work training at aa psychiatric hospital and imagining that I had found out what I wanted to do. I liked the book fine - although I struggled with the narrative. One thing I had issues with was that Sybild, being obviously severely so disturbed, could pose as quite balanced and 'normal' in her everyday life. The was certainly not what I saw in the patients I met and interacted with every day. At about half the book I made the mistake of asking a professor about it and he told me that the account of the book was not true. This kind of brought the second half down a notch. I did follow this one up with When Rabbit Howls (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...), however, noting that Truddi Chas was up to 92 personalities from Sybil's 16, I had a nagging feeling that the would either topped by someone with a few hundred - or be discredited at some point...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    Sometimes when my kids are really pushing my buttons, I remind them if they don't want the "mean" mommy to make an appearance they had better knock it off. And to be sure, the "mean" mommy, the one who loses her composure and who feels as if she could literally pull her hair out, is far removed from the the loving and patient mommy I identify with, the mommy who also happens to be fascinated by the science of brain and behavior and the origin and experience of consciousness. So this true story (w Sometimes when my kids are really pushing my buttons, I remind them if they don't want the "mean" mommy to make an appearance they had better knock it off. And to be sure, the "mean" mommy, the one who loses her composure and who feels as if she could literally pull her hair out, is far removed from the the loving and patient mommy I identify with, the mommy who also happens to be fascinated by the science of brain and behavior and the origin and experience of consciousness. So this true story (which happens to read a little too much like fiction for my tastes) of a woman who possessed sixteen personalities was at the very least intriguing. Interestingly, I chose to read this in prep for reading Sybil Exposed, the book that suggests the real Sybil and the doctor who treated her is/was a fraud. I should add that I've read a lot on the topic of brain science and some on the condition once known as multiple personality disorder but since renamed dissociative identity disorder and much of this book seemed in line with/consistent with what I've read in other more scientific and less sensationalized sources. I think the mode of storytelling chosen and the hype that surrounded the story leaves itself wide open to criticism for obvious reasons, so I'll be interested to see what evidence is revealed in Sybil Exposed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    K

    I don't know if I can give this a fair review. I only picked it up because I was curious to read "Sybil Exposed" and thought I should read the original "Sybil" first. As such, I went in with preconceived skepticism which, according to goodreads trolls, is a mortal sin and means I have no moral right to review this book. So feel free to skip my review if that bothers you, or read on and take it from who it comes. The story of "Sybil" is certainly dramatic but not particularly credible. The book de I don't know if I can give this a fair review. I only picked it up because I was curious to read "Sybil Exposed" and thought I should read the original "Sybil" first. As such, I went in with preconceived skepticism which, according to goodreads trolls, is a mortal sin and means I have no moral right to review this book. So feel free to skip my review if that bothers you, or read on and take it from who it comes. The story of "Sybil" is certainly dramatic but not particularly credible. The book describes Sybil, a woman who has survived mind-bogglingly horrific physical and sexual abuse by her allegedly schizophrenic mother (disturbingly dated notions of schizophrenia and the doctor's presumed ability to diagnose an unmet person are just the tip of the iceberg here), including episodes as a six-month-old infant and two-and-a-half-year-old toddler recounted by the author in detail. Sybil has learned to cope with her abuse by dissociating and having other personalities, sixteen in total, overtake her body. Reading between the lines, there are glaring breaches of boundaries by Sybil's doctor which, if acknowledged at all by the author, are framed positively. There are plot holes and numerous questions about the sources for this level of detail. Of course, I may have been looking for reasons to be skeptical but they weren't hard to find. I suspect that "Sybil Exposed" will simply confirm and flesh out what I'm saying here, but I will read it anyway.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vidushi Gupta

    This is such a classic. One of the best piece of literature, or one can also say one of the finest example one could find about the beauty, the complexity and the vulnerability of a human mind and heart, and how far we can go to protect ourselves. A must, must read so as to understand humans better.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marzieh Nfn

    با خواندن این کتاب بیشتر به تاثیر سلامت روان پدر و مادر بر روح و روان فرزند پی بردم. و واقعابه نظرم خیلی جالب اومد یه فردی 17 شخصیت داشته باشه و بتونه زندگی کنه. شکنجه هایی که بر سی بل اعمال میشد،باعث شد از خودم سوال بپرسم واقعا همچنین مادرهایی هم وجود دارند؟ در حقیقت این تعدد شخصیت ناشی از جنون مادر سی بل بود

  14. 3 out of 5

    Mahsa Fazeli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. واقعا دوستش داشتم! اين كتاب رو ٦سال پيش زمانى دانشجو بودم يكى از استاد هاى خوبم بهم معرفى كرد ولى تاكنون فرصت نكرده بودم تهيه كنم و بخونم. داستان در مورد دختريه كه از اختلال تعدد شخصيت رنج ميبره و شخصيت اصلى از وجود سايرِ شخصيت ها بي اطلاع هستش. اين اختلال ريشه درتجارب دوران كودكيش و از رفتار و شكنجه هاى مادرش سرچشمه ميگيره.همچنين نقش وراثت هم در بروز اين بيمارى بي تاثير نيست. از اونجايي كه هم در خانواده ى مادر و هم در خاندان پدريش نشانه هايى از اين اختلال وجود داشته. اين كتاب روند شناخت بيمارى "س واقعا دوستش داشتم! اين كتاب رو ٦سال پيش زمانى دانشجو بودم يكى از استاد هاى خوبم بهم معرفى كرد ولى تاكنون فرصت نكرده بودم تهيه كنم و بخونم. داستان در مورد دختريه كه از اختلال تعدد شخصيت رنج ميبره و شخصيت اصلى از وجود سايرِ شخصيت ها بي اطلاع هستش. اين اختلال ريشه درتجارب دوران كودكيش و از رفتار و شكنجه هاى مادرش سرچشمه ميگيره.همچنين نقش وراثت هم در بروز اين بيمارى بي تاثير نيست. از اونجايي كه هم در خانواده ى مادر و هم در خاندان پدريش نشانه هايى از اين اختلال وجود داشته. اين كتاب روند شناخت بيمارى "سي بل "و درمان آن هستش.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    REALLY INTERESTING if you're at all into psychology or childhood trauma. This book is a true story, but it reads like a science-fiction at times just because it is so so sad and horrible. If this book were better written and a little quicker paced I think it could easily become one of my favourites. Only read this if you can stomach reading about horrible things happening to little children... Actually, I think everyone should read this just to realize how hard some people have it due to no fault REALLY INTERESTING if you're at all into psychology or childhood trauma. This book is a true story, but it reads like a science-fiction at times just because it is so so sad and horrible. If this book were better written and a little quicker paced I think it could easily become one of my favourites. Only read this if you can stomach reading about horrible things happening to little children... Actually, I think everyone should read this just to realize how hard some people have it due to no fault of their own. A good book to inspire a good nature vs nurture discussion. Oh also, Dr. Wilbur (Sybil's psychologist) REALLY bothered me with how she pressured Sybil to abandon her religion in order to become well. Sybil was a part of a very restrictive Fundamentalist faith and the doctor lowered herself to Bible bashing and arguing the finer points of religion (GOD didnt say to rest on the Sabbath, MEN/prophets did) when I feel it was more than a little inappropriate. My husband and I had a discussion after I read that chapter about how annoyed we are when therepists make "confining religions" out to be the bad guys and act as if no one would have any mental problems if only God would stop being SO demanding... On the doctor's behalf, however, Sybil's religious upbringing WAS over-the-top.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I read this in my freshman year of college, and it gave me nightmares, and really made me think I was going crazy. I saw the movie first in psychology class in high school. Then, when I took psychology in college, this book was brought up, and I was intrigued. I have heard some say this isn't a true story, but even if it isn't, it is still frightening. The whole idea is just....beyond bizarre. If you are looking for an interesting, can be scary to some, just....crazy story, this might just be th I read this in my freshman year of college, and it gave me nightmares, and really made me think I was going crazy. I saw the movie first in psychology class in high school. Then, when I took psychology in college, this book was brought up, and I was intrigued. I have heard some say this isn't a true story, but even if it isn't, it is still frightening. The whole idea is just....beyond bizarre. If you are looking for an interesting, can be scary to some, just....crazy story, this might just be the book for you. I actually had a hard time reading it at times, especially at night because I just got weirded out.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Sonia Gomes

    The hard work that goes in trying to get your life back on track is heart warming but also heartbreaking. Rearing a family is hard work and kids never know what their parents will be like. Will they be abusive as Hattie Dorset was ? Will they be happy people putting in a lot of effort to rear their children with love and concern. Kids never know. Hattie Dorset may be one of the extremes in society, but to some extent everyone abuses their kids, in benign ways like pushing them for those endless c The hard work that goes in trying to get your life back on track is heart warming but also heartbreaking. Rearing a family is hard work and kids never know what their parents will be like. Will they be abusive as Hattie Dorset was ? Will they be happy people putting in a lot of effort to rear their children with love and concern. Kids never know. Hattie Dorset may be one of the extremes in society, but to some extent everyone abuses their kids, in benign ways like pushing them for those endless classes, or parents who are not even aware that their kids exist, remember Matilda. But consciously or unconsciously we do expect the unexpected from our kids, did we have similar parents, maybe. The resilient do their best and stick on, the less resilient fall down a couple of times. But everyone tries to get back on track and that is extremely courageous. I have such tremendous respect for people trying to get back on track. Coming back to Sybil, Hattie Dorset was not at all a mother as we define a Mother, she was an abusive person.She abused Sybil in every possible way, sexually, physically, mentally and ways we can never ever comprehend. She abused Sybil so much that Sybil escaped into different worlds. That Sybil's father pretended it was not happening and never lifted a finger to help a toddler is much worse. Of course we tend to excuse such behavior in multiple ways, but in whatever way we want to couch it, in whatever way we want to excuse people such as Sybil's parents, one word stands in my mind-EVIL. I know it is not in fashion to call any person evil these days, there are so many better sounding words but to me they were Evil persons torturing a small defenseless child

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    I read this book in the mid 70s and I reread it a few times throughout the next decade or so. It tells a heartbreaking, fascinating and absorbing story of a woman with multiple personality disorder, which is a dissociative disorder. I’ve heard over the years that the story is more fiction than non-fiction, but I still like the book just as much as I did when I believed it was 100% true. A really sobering look at how childhood trauma can seriously affect one’s mental health. Extremely disturbing I read this book in the mid 70s and I reread it a few times throughout the next decade or so. It tells a heartbreaking, fascinating and absorbing story of a woman with multiple personality disorder, which is a dissociative disorder. I’ve heard over the years that the story is more fiction than non-fiction, but I still like the book just as much as I did when I believed it was 100% true. A really sobering look at how childhood trauma can seriously affect one’s mental health. Extremely disturbing passages about child abuse.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Sybil is a perfectly normal woman in almost every way - except that she isn't just Sybil. She's also several other people. This true story of a person struggling with dissociative identity disorder (originally called multiple personality disorder) is both terrifying and powerful.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Zohreh Samiei

    كتابي كه ابتدايش جذاب، ميانه اش فوق العاده تلخ و انتهايش اميدواركننده بود! من با اين كتاب ترسيدم و آرام شدم، برايم جذاب بود بخصوص اينكه داستاني واقعي را در بر مي گرفت!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    I noticed that someone mentioned that this book is more fiction than fact and also another about how unbelievable the story was. During the 1970's I worked at an adult home where we had a female patient who held a doctorate degree. One day you could talk to her and she was marvelously funny an remembered everything you talked with her on previous conversations. The other twenty days she was a different character from the book "Anne Frank." She also mimicked the activities of guards that may of ha I noticed that someone mentioned that this book is more fiction than fact and also another about how unbelievable the story was. During the 1970's I worked at an adult home where we had a female patient who held a doctorate degree. One day you could talk to her and she was marvelously funny an remembered everything you talked with her on previous conversations. The other twenty days she was a different character from the book "Anne Frank." She also mimicked the activities of guards that may of happened when they busted the house in which Anne lived. On about the twentieth day I would be able to talk to the doctors real ego. I was always amazed and saddened to find someone else inside the next day. On the last day of her life I found her dying alone in her room ruptured internally by a quart coke bottle that broke insider her and then repeatedly ruptured her internals. I have not recovered from this event which carries with it other horrid events that occurred on this day. This disease is no joke and probably the least understood till this day. I read Sybill four years before the event with my Dr. friend - by her existence am even more amazed about how little we will ever understand about the human psych. Similar strange events caused by brain damage is covered in the book ---American Wop: Beaver Buffalo Buttons Brass Boxing and Beer: That's why you're here!

  22. 5 out of 5

    n

    While really unsettling, Sybil allowed me to realise the importance of the psychology of characters in one's writing. An interesting read of a somewhat controversial diagnosis (multiple personality/dissociative identity), Sybil is a must read for anyone interested in psychology. How each personality is constructed reveals intimate details on how to create fictional characters or how to borrow from real people into characters of one's own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I don't remember WHEN I read this, I only remember that I did and that it scared the living daylights out of me. I was W A Y to young to be reading this without someone to talk to about it afterwards.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Acacia Ives

    I have read this book 50 some odd times. Regardless of truth or not truth it stands as a very good and accurate description of what it's like living with MPD/DID.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Psipsipsi

    I started to read this book many years ago - never finished it as it was undoubtedly a big con. The ingredients were obvious - a disturbed and suggestible young woman, a grossly inadequate fame-seeking psychiatrist, and an unethical journalist. It's amazing that despite its exposure as a fraud (e.g. Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan) the book is still being marketed, read, and believed. What is particularly sad is that all "Sybil's" psychological problems were easily avoidable. Debbie Nathan, while I started to read this book many years ago - never finished it as it was undoubtedly a big con. The ingredients were obvious - a disturbed and suggestible young woman, a grossly inadequate fame-seeking psychiatrist, and an unethical journalist. It's amazing that despite its exposure as a fraud (e.g. Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan) the book is still being marketed, read, and believed. What is particularly sad is that all "Sybil's" psychological problems were easily avoidable. Debbie Nathan, while researching for her book, visited the family doctor that treated "Sybil" as a child. She had suffered from Pernicious anemia, as had her mother, and the GP had successfully kept "Sybil" in her happy family home symptom free with liver extract. Her mother suffered from the same condition. When "Sybil" left the family home to study she stopped the liver extract and over the next year it seems that her psychological symptoms returned. This time, tragically for her, she went to see the incompetent Psychiatrist who did not take a proper Medical history and so misdiagnosed her. Many of "Sybil's" memories and other personalities were elicited when she was under the influence of pentothal, some when she was literally in bed with her Psychiatrist. I highly recommend Debbie Nathan's book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    I read this book as a teen, and it left a lasting impression on me. It was brought back to my mind after reading The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson. This story of a woman with sixteen personalities, purportedly based on real life, hooked me at the time of reading it. It was one of the factors getting me interested in "pop" psychology. Now I hear that it has been challenged (like so many similar books), but that does not take away from its fascination. The book is well-written, even though the scen I read this book as a teen, and it left a lasting impression on me. It was brought back to my mind after reading The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson. This story of a woman with sixteen personalities, purportedly based on real life, hooked me at the time of reading it. It was one of the factors getting me interested in "pop" psychology. Now I hear that it has been challenged (like so many similar books), but that does not take away from its fascination. The book is well-written, even though the scenes of child abuse (by Sybil's schizophrenic mother) are graphic and disturbing. However, it lost a bit of steam towards the end, as there is no clear description of Sybil's healing process. Split personality became all the rage in India, after the movies Manichitrathazhu and Anniyan became blockbusters.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Ksenia Anske

    This story was fascinating to read. And frightening. And too close to home. It stirred up lots of darkness in me, and helped me get rid of some. That's what good books do.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Terri

    A very fascinating book about a woman with Multiple Personality Disorder. Her journey to find out what was happening, understand it, and integrate.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I'd long heard of this book from my mother, who'd read it when it was more new in the literary world. So, in a sense, I was prepared for what lay ahead. Sybil is a troubled woman who's led a rather... well let's say unusual life. Small town girl full of close-minded religion with a mother who abuses her in the most perverse ways for reasons that remained her own and a father who basically plugged his fingers in his ears to everything. All these traumas, betrayals, and fears both real and not begi I'd long heard of this book from my mother, who'd read it when it was more new in the literary world. So, in a sense, I was prepared for what lay ahead. Sybil is a troubled woman who's led a rather... well let's say unusual life. Small town girl full of close-minded religion with a mother who abuses her in the most perverse ways for reasons that remained her own and a father who basically plugged his fingers in his ears to everything. All these traumas, betrayals, and fears both real and not begin to crack Sybil into shards emotionally and thus her personalities are born. Each one even goes so far as to have their own physical appearance, though only in their eyes. Reading through I found myself really considering each personality their own person and not Sybil just speaking and acting differently. You come to feel they're all really individuals until it gets down into the nitty-gritty of why they're there. The reason I give this only 4 stars instead of 5 was I found a lot of places dragged on such as histories of both parents, even the grandparents, though I know for analysis it's necessary. Likewise the later half of the book where the treatment gets intense and she's slowly healing, I felt agonizing. Which, in itself, is ironic since I have a mental illness and I can sympathize with the time it takes to "get better." The chapter on Ramon was unnecessary even though it showed her ability to "stay herself" and break from her fears of others. It was a good book, a real jaw-dropper in places, but it's definitely something you have to take chapter by chapter. It's sad she took so long to begin her life proper, but considering the timeframe it's no surprise. Even now I imagine it would take as long to get a multiple personality of that calibur anywhere near the word "cured."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shabnam

    نمیدونم امتیاز ۴ برای این کتاب درست هست یا نه چون در سالهایی این کتاب رو خوندم که در سن بلوغ. بودم و اصلا رابطه خوبی با مادر و پدرم نداشتم تاثیر شکنجه های مادر سی بل در ضمیر ناخوداگاهم ۲۵ سال است که هک شده الان ناگهان یاد کتاب افتادم سرچ کردم و یافتم و نمیدونم چرا نمیتونم هرگز اون صحنه ها رو فراموش کنم تاثیر کتاب در دوران نوجوانی من اونقدر زیاد بود که وادارم کرد ۴ ستاره به کتاب بدم

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