Sybil Essay

654 WordsMar 6, 20153 Pages
Sybil is a shy, unassuming substitute grade school teacher. After suffering a small breakdown in front of her students, she is given a neurological examination by Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, a psychiatrist. Sybil admits to having blackouts and fears they are getting worse. Dr. Wilbur theorizes that the incidents are a kind of hysteria, all related to a deeper problem. She asks Sybil to return at a later date for more counseling. Later that evening, Dr. Wilbur receives a late night call from someone who identifies herself as Vickie and says Sybil is about to jump out a hotel window. Dr. Wilbur rescues Sybil, who denies knowing Vickie. Suddenly Sybil becomes hysterical and begins speaking like a little girl. This little girl introduces herself as Peggy, and Wilbur realizes that Sybil is suffering from what was then referred to as multiple personality disorder (more commonly known then as "split personality"), and is now called dissociative identity disorder. Vickie introduces herself to Wilbur at the next session. Vickie, who knows everything about the other personalities, tells Wilbur about some of them, including Marsha, who is suicidal and wants to kill Sybil, and Vanessa, who plays the piano although Sybil never learned. Over the weeks, each of the personalities introduce themselves to Wilbur. At the same time, the personality Vanessa falls in love with a charming neighbor named Richard. Wilbur finally explains to Sybil about the other personalities. As proof, Wilbur plays the session's tape to allow Sybil to hear their voices, but when a voice that sounds like Sybil's mother Hattie speaks, an infant personality named Ruthie emerges. Wilbur is unable to communicate with the pre-verbal child and must wait until Sybil returns. Life becomes more chaotic for Sybil as the other personalities grow stronger. The personalities make Dr. Wilbur a Christmas card, but

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