ADVERTISING

MOVIES

“Sybil,” the disturbing case of a woman with 16 different personalities

The 1976 film is based on a true story that has had several adaptations over time.

True crime cases, as well as cases of people suffering from a mental disorder that reach the screen, have become a trend in recent years because they generate expectations among the public who are unaware of the mysteries that occur in the mind.

One of the most disturbing of the last decades is that of Shirley Ardell Mason, better known as Sybil, whose story was taken from a book written by Dr. Flora Rheta Schreiber, in which she revealed the files of a colleague named Cornelia B. Wilbur, who served as a psychiatrist. Wilbur was a psychoanalyst.

ADVERTISING - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The tapes with the conversations between the doctor and her patient were thoroughly analyzed, since Sybil supposedly suffered from a dissociative disorder that led her to create 16 different personalities.

The first adaptation of this case came to the screen in 1976 under the direction of Daniel Petrie and starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward.

ADVERTISING - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The film tells the story of Sybil Dorsett, an apparently normal substitute teacher who suffers a small accident that takes her to the hospital. There, a detail draws the attention of a psychiatrist who begins to treat her and realizes that the woman suffers from multiple personality disorder, due to the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her mother.

The controversy surrounding the case

Although the film attracted attention, there were some detractors of the case, such as Dr. Herbert Spiegel and Robert W. Rieber, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice scholar, who concluded that the doctor invented her patient’s multiple personalities to sell thousands of copies of her book and that in reality Shirley Ardell Mason only suffered from hysteria.

ADVERTISING - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The remake

In 2007 a movie was made based on the same book, with Jessica Lange as Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and Tammy Blanchard in the main role of Sybil.

The reality is that it could never be confirmed if the doctor lied about her patient since by the time the veracity of the story was questioned, both Shirley and Wilbur had already died, but this case is undoubtedly one of the most disturbing known about the disorder.

ADVERTISING - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

Podría interesarte
ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING