Skip to comments.'Sybil' is one big psych-out (multiple personalities was multiple lies)
Posted on 10/17/2011 6:51:30 AM PDT by decimon
Sybil, the shocking true story of a woman shattered into 16 distinct personalities that helped her to dig up repressed memories of monstrous childhood sexual abuse, sold nearly 7 million copies when it was published in 1973. A serialized version ran in newspapers around the nation as readers gasped at scenes of Sybils demented mother defecating on lawns, conducting lesbian orgies and raping her daughter with kitchen utensils. This kind of sex and perversion had never before been published on the womens pages, writes author Debbie Nathan in a new book. Sybil was adapted into an Emmy-winning 1976 TV miniseries starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward that was viewed by one-fifth of the American public.
And it was an utter fraud.
Shirley continued, I do not have any multiple personalities ... I do not even have a double ... I am all of them. I have essentially been lying ... as trying to show you I felt I needed help ... Quite thrilling. Got me a lot of attention.
The therapist, who was already talking up her prize patient at psychiatry conferences, dismissed the letter as resistance and pushed on with the drugs and the therapy -- this time, five days a week. Soon Shirley was again putting on a split-personality show in Connies office. No one else except her roommate was ever treated to these performances.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
And today, probably an accepted lifestyle; one eulogized by the “gay” community.
The establishment media lies?!?! Say it ain’t so. I am totally disillusioned.
The whole concept of “repressed memories” was BS from the get=go, and obviously so. Either you remember something or you don’t.
I don’t know the details; but, I believe establishing ‘bi-polar’ status as a disability helps get your ticket punched for free housing and even tuition assistance...maybe through SSA.
All I remember is that Sally Field was very impressive in the movie. Just one man’s opinion, and I was probably in my teens then.
Uh huh.... How do we know this isn't just personality #17 emerging?
I read this article yesterday but I think this story was debunked years ago.
Sunday NYTimes book review ignores books by Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell but has time to review editor Jill Abramson’s dumb book about...her dog.
I beileve in repressed memories only in the vein that you “don’t seem to remember the event”, but if someone who was there suddenly comes along and asks you about it, you will remember clearly.
That is, you remember some stuff clearly but it just never comes to mind unless someone brings it up. And if nobody ever brings it up, well, it never comes up - so you have “repressed” the memory.
The “blackout” of memories (where even when it IS brought up, you still don’t remember) is another thing. I don’t buy that.
My first marriage ended due to the “repressed memory” thing. I remember a counselor saying he was concerned that, with the exception of a single instance, could not remember my parents “spanking” me. Then I asked my mother if she ever spanked me and she brought up the exact same occurance (on her own) as the only time.
So much for “repressed” memories and identifiying the counselor as a quack.
That’s the role that put Field on the map. An amazing performance. The fact that it’s comletely fictional a story doesn’t mean that the movie doesn’t have power. It certainly works as a horror story and Field was terrific!
However, even when it first came out, I had serious doubts.
And you can't trust the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. Anything that keeps changing definitions of mental illnesses to suit the current political winds is, by unchanging definition, Stalinist.
“I beileve in repressed memories only in the vein that you ‘dont seem to remember the event’, but if someone who was there suddenly comes along and asks you about it, you will remember clearly.”
You wouldn’t have been repressing it, then. That’s garden variety remembering. If it were what we’re talking about, you’d need not “someone who was there” but a highly trained genius brain excavator, i.e. a psychiatrist, to dig in your head and tell you what you don’t know about yourself.
“That is, you remember some stuff clearly but it just never comes to mind unless someone brings it up. And if nobody ever brings it up, well, it never comes up - so you have ‘repressed’ the memory”
This has nothing to with the subject at hand, really. People not bringing it up doesn’t constitute repression.
That's what I keep asking myself.
Of course this multiple personalities stuff is BS.
No it isn’t
Yes it is.
I can attest to the reality of "blacked-out" memories. There are three traumatic events in my life that I can remember before and after, but not during. And knowing what surrounded them, I'm really glad I don't remember the "during."
Have a friend who was repeatedly sexually abused by her dad (no doubt) from very early on. She did ‘repress’ very many memories, which only began to come back as she began to deal with what happened to her. She only ever had one personality, tho. If you don’t want to remember something, you sure enough can ‘repress’ it by choosing to forget it.
This may be a joke, but if you actually read Freud, Jung, etc. they go beyond the mere self-protection of individual psyche to posit horror at the origin of human culture. That is to say, we are neurotics not only because our parents had sex in front of us when we were babies, but also because we can dimly remember people practicing human sacrifice 65,000 years ago, or something. Which is insane, but, hey, what is psychology for?
“The ‘blackout’ of memories (where even when it IS brought up, you still dont remember) is another thing. I dont buy that.”
That’s what repression is, by definition. Everything else you describe is part of normal, non-neurotic memory.
No its not. They’re talking about original sin, they just are forbidden to call it that.
An alternative name for the book was “When Attention Whores Get Together.”
—This has nothing to with the subject at hand, really. People not bringing it up doesnt constitute repression.—
We’re both mincing words. I’ve discovered a couple of “shocking events” from my past that I was “repressing”. When someone asked about them though, I remembered them vividly. I may have been “actively” or “subconsciously” repressing them, but the fact is that they were significant, yet I never thought about them for decades.
Think about a highly skilled professional football player that represses the really bad game he had when he was in Jr High. He may subconciously avoid thinking about it. And he may be so successful that until he meets a guy at his 35th high school reunion that brings it up, he had forgotten all about it. He did do a form of memory repression. Especially since most of us would never forget such a thing and probably think about it every now and then, within the context of it being our career.
We’re talking about the business of human psycology. Words have “vague” meanings, and they like it that way.
...for fun and profit.
Bipolar (formerly known as manic-depressive) is a real malady. It has nothing to do with multiple personalities.
“She did repress very many memories, which only began to come back as she began to deal with what happened to her”
Certainly something like that happened, but it wasn’t repression. It’d be more accurate to say that they were bad memories she didn’t like to think about. And they didn’t “come back,” they were always there. That’s the point. Either they’re in the memory or they’re not. There is no such thing as memories that are in you without them being in your memory.
“If you dont want to remember something, you sure enough can repress it by choosing to forget it.”
No, wrong. You can’t ever intentionally kick anything out of your memory, that’s absurd. It’s an automatic process. You can choose to quickly change your mind when something bad comes up, but that’s it. It never goes away because you choose so.
Even if it did, that wouldn’t be repression. Repression is not a choice, or if it is it’s your psyche, not your consciousness, that’s choosing for you.
So is multiple personalities a real disorder or not?
I remmeber seeing a TV medical documentary once where a man would sneeze and change into another personality. And they caught it on-camera once and it really amazed me.
He looked, sounded, and acted like an entirely different person. And I dont mean in the little ways- like a person just acting differently , you would have sworn it was a different person.
His facial features were changed, his mannerisms, tone of voice, everything. I remember thinking that I if it was not real, it was the most amazing acting I ever saw.
I cannot recall any benefit to the guy at all. In fact, one personality was trying to stop the other from buying a car they could not afford.
“Were both mincing words”
No. Maybe you are, but not me. Pyschiatrists may not be scientists, but they do attempt consistency in definition, and their “repression” means something definite. I’m using their term; you are borrowing it to describe something else.
“Ive discovered a couple of ‘shocking events’ from my past that I was ‘repressing’”
No you haven’t.
“When someone asked about them though, I remembered them vividly”
Why use the term “repression,” then? All that means is that they were in your memory, like everything else you remember. If they had been scarring you all along, it’s because you did remember them, not because they were locked somewhere in you which we call “the unconscious.”
“the fact is that they were significant, yet I never thought about them for decades.”
So what? I’m sure you’ve gone stretches without thinking of insignificant things you remember, either. If you think those memories were hurting you all along while you weren’t remembering them, and that’s what made them “significant,” you’re wrong. Either they hurt you all along because you did remember them, or you didn’t remember them and they didn’t affect you in the interim, or they hurt you long before and you’re just pretending that in the meantime their impact has been persistent. There’s no fourth option, having to do with memories that stop being memories and hurt you all along, whatever they are, without you remembering them, until you do remember them later on. That is what classical psychology thinks, and classical psychology is wrong.
I was in a horrible marriage to a deranged psychopath- I finally divorced her to protect my children from her. When she finally died in a car accident I can only remember relief of knowing she would never be able to come back and hurt them.
When I was seeing a court-ordered doctor for psychological eval for the divorce (he recommended I have sole custody and she not even be allowed unsupervised visitation) I remembered things I had completely forgotten because they were so horrible.
I have a recovered memory of someone owing me money but they’re still repressing it, what shall I do?
Don’t know about this case, but I know someone who seems to genuinely have two personalities. So I think that multiple personality disorder does exist, although it unusual.
The onset of the disease generally occurs within twenty-four hours of the loan.
“Theyre talking about original sin, they just are forbidden to call it that.”
It’s their analog to original sin, you could argue. Anyone can see the appeal, so ingrained is mankind’s low self-esteem. You could also argue that they wanted to cash in, or that their theory of “alien powers” couldn’t sit by and let anything whatsoever go unexplained through the prism of psychology.
But it’s not “just” that. They had their own reasons, stupid reasons, to believe in it. Psychology’s version is also vastly different from the religious one, in ways I don’t need to elaborate.
“I remembered things I had completely forgotten because they were so horrible”
Think about that for a minute, though. Why would you not remember them because they were horrible? Isn’t that a good reason to remember them? Wouldn’t horror make them stand out? Aren’t there all sorts of memories you wish you could forget but keep popping up because they disturb you?
I posit that the main reason you phrase it that way, that you forgot because of horror, is because psychology has so influenced the culture, and so conditioned us to think that’s what happened. But think, if it was “completely forgotten,” how did you remember it? That doesn’t make any sense. If you remembered, then you didn’t forget. It’s that simple. The “unconscious” and “repression” are hocus-pocus. It wouldn’t ever occur to you to say you completely forgot something because it was horrible then remembered it later if you didn’t already believe in the theory of repression. Because there’s no reason whatsoever to believe in repression without a mountain of dubious and wacky theoretical detritus wearing you down.
Board certified shrink here: I’ll stay out of this except to say that many, if not most, in the profession saw this whole phenomena for the hoax it was from the very beginning.
It’s an iatrogenic illness, fostered on susceptible people by therapists of dubious insight, training, character and motives.
When therapists send me these folks for medication management, I politely inform the patient that I will require them to be present, not their multiples, throughout each meeting with me, and that I will refer them on to someone else the very first time a multiple appears. Not once have I, under those rules, seen a multiple or any other regressive nonsense, and I have found out later in several cases that they’ve dropped the drama altogether and gotten on with their lives.
“He may subconciously avoid thinking about it.”
Avoiding thinking about something is not repression.
“He did do a form of memory repression”
No, that’s not repression.
“Were talking about the business of human psycology. Words have ‘vague’ meanings, and they like it that way.”
If they do dilute the meaning of repression, it’s out of knowledge that it was a stupid concept to begin with, and bears no relation to reality. Things work this way a lot with Freud. He’s hailed as the messiah of the discipline, but if currently practicing psychiatrists ever went back to actually read more than a select few of his writings, they’d die of embarrassment.
You sound like someone who has never lived with a woman during a pregnancy.
If you had you to would believe.
Actually I’ve never had a relative borrow money. They’ve accepted donations and gifts but never borrowed with the need to repay. I guess it’s all the definition.
More evidence for the authors of the story of the decline and fall of Western civilization . . .
I strongly believe in multiple personalities.
I strongly believe in multiple personalities. Who said that?
Seriously, there’s a professional in Houston who believes some people with multiple personality disorder are demon possessed.
I have no idea what went on in the “Sybil” case. I do remember that Wilbur was highly suspected by her collegues which always put up red flags for me.
In the book she addresses the letter as a time when Sybil simply didn’t want to do therapy anymore - it was getting too painful, so Sybil wrote her a letter saying she had really all made it up, thank you, so she didn’t need anymore help and therapy. It did seem a little too pat, and she did continue after that with therapy.
I’ve always wondered. However, the book does document a lot of injuries to the young Sybil supposedly caused by her mother. And it does state the mother was catatonic for a year, and diagnosed with a mental disorder. That would seem to me as some kind of proof for truth.
There's the benefit. It's the same in all of us but he's playing it up. It's your internal conflict or the little angel whispering in one ear and the devil whispering in the other. The "devil" or the "whaaa, I want" side is all for getting the new over budget car while on the other hand the angel or your practical side knows you can't afford it.
That’s not the way I remember it. It’s YOU who owes ME money.
That's how I try to deal with the Carter administration.
“... there’s a professional in Houston who believes some people with multiple personality disorder are demon possessed”.
Well, that I can believe. When I was in college, I worked Security at a local hospital. There was a closed/lock psych ward on the top floor. Long story short, Security was called to help assist putting a patient in four point restraints. Now.. picture this. A black woman, about five feet two inches and maybe 100 pounds. She started to say in a very female voice, “He’s coming”. Then she “changed”. I don’t know how else to describe it. Her voice became that of a mans. She started swearing and six Security officers had the hardest time of their life getting her into the restraints.
I was the only female officer and the other five male officers were really BIG men. Her throat and face changed appearance. After the longest 15 minutes of our lives, we were able to secure the patient and left the room. It was then that I said, “Is she possessed?!” to one of the nurses. I will tell you this... it was the strangest thing I had ever seen. So... whether multiple personalities exist or not... the thought of demon possession entered my mind and several others that day. The nurse did tell us she had multiple personalities. Who knows?