Multiple Personality Disorder in the Movie Sybil

Published: 2022-12-16
Multiple Personality Disorder in the Movie Sybil
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Company Finance Research Analysis Personality
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1890 words
16 min read

IntroductionEvery person loves to hear a good story. Movies have become an essential source of stories among most people around the world. Like all good storytellers, film directors have realized that integrating true information, especially a life event makes a movie so popular. People are not just looking for a story; they want a story which has some teaching. A film becomes so interesting, especially when it covers a mysterious story such as Dissociative Identity Disorder. There are several movies that discuss the disorder such as Sybil. Daniel Petrie, the director of the film Sybil, has effectively drawn a picture about diagnosis, effects, and treatment of this disorder. The movie engages a strange case study and a narrative story about a lady, Sybil. Throughout the film, the director tries to bring the idea Multiple Personality Syndrome to society, and the complex issues which are associated with the field of psychotherapy during treatment. The movie becomes so popular due to its pop phenomenon and a revolutionary force in the field of psychotherapy. It illustrates a multiple personality disorder (MPD) that occur consciousness in Sybil. In the field of psychiatric, the movie played a vital role, especially in the development of psychiatric bible, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which was helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. When the movie is presented in the television, Sally Fields is viewed as a patient who has been infected by MPD and Joanne Woodward as the psychiatrist who treats her.

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Sybil's case generated a lot of argument in both the society and the medical group. Before the establishment of the book and the movie, people were not aware of the issues, and thus, very few recognized the disorder. For instance, in Western nations, there were less than 200 issues associated with the disorder which had been reported for the past centuries. However, after the introduction, more people arose stating they were experiencing the same problem. Since 1980, more than 40,000 cases of people who have been diagnosed with the disorder has been reported in America. From the data, the development of the movie played a vital role in understanding about the issue. Hence, therapists needed to develop effective ways which they could handle these people. Additionally, people were encouraged to seek medical care whenever they experience some problem.

Dissociative Personality Disorder in the Movie Sybil and Characteristic

The diagnosis of DID was first seen in the 1800s. Pierre Janet was the first person to be diagnosed with the trait. However, during the early 1900s, the disorder was termed as 'co-consciousness.' The name was used because patients could be seen acting with two varied consciences. Since, that period, more innovation and development have occurred as scientists try to understand the disorder. This development increases their understanding of how and why the disorder occurs. Another major contribution which is linked with the disorder is the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The case engages some magical powder which helps when handling a person who has been diagnosed by the disorder. In 1886, the writing played a vital role in teaching people about the disorder, especially on human identities (Asia & Samanik, 2018). In this period, most authors referred people who were affected by the disorder as 'very good,' but sometimes they are 'shockingly evil.'

For a period, various scholars and psychologists have defined dissociative disorder in various ways. However, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), dissociative disorder entails the disruption of identity in which two or more separate and different personality states regulate how a person behaves in a different time. The disorder is mostly caused by several psychological torture or harassment during childhood (Hunter, 2016). From the minor age, an individual learns to fight the issue by mentally escaping from the psychological torture and pretends in a manner that the issue is happening to another person. Hence, their coping mechanism is disconnected from the reality. However, if the issue occurs regularly, the dissociation develops their personalities. These personalities may dominate the mind taking control over the main personality when a stressor occurs. In some cases, this disconnection can become so universal that a person starts to alter the normal time. During this period, a person tries to remember exactly what took place during the period of dissociative (Zeligman et al, 2017).

According to the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental (DSM-5), DID has some physical signs which a person can use to identify if have the disorder (Dryden-Edwards & Stoppler, 2017). For instance, the occurrence of two or more different personality states which affect the capability to recall past data. In each person, clinical presentation differs, and the state of functioning can be altered by severe impaired. In most cases, a person who has been affected by this disorder experiences a lot of stress. This stress is most stimulated by the emotional signs and the consequences that are linked with the symptoms (Asia & Samanik, 2018). Some people find it hard to freely discuss the issue because the disorder is linked to abuse, shame, and fear. A large number of people who are suffering from the disorder have less than ten identities. However, some go up to more than a 4,500 (Brand, & Chasson, 2015). Currently, there are three common types of DID that affect most people; dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, depersonalization. Furthermore, people who are affected by DID tend to suffer from psychiatric issues which are linked with mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal tendencies, and much more. However, the most common issues portrayed by people of have the disorder is depression and headaches. These symptoms occur regularly and trigger other issues. For instance, individuals who are suffering from depression keep making suicide attempts as most of them lack alternative solutions.

When the movie was being released in the 1970s, the issue of MPD was so popular. Therefore, integrating the disorder in the movie was an essential way of educating society (Asia & Samanik, 2018). The director has clearly illustrated several misconceptions which are associated with the disorder which are still relevant up to today. A large number of people have not yet understood what exactly does the disorder means. In the movie, Sybil, the director shows a story of a lady, Sybil Dorset, who has been diagnosed by the DID. The issue arises when her nervous breakdown and she is forced to seek some medical care. The psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur, who treated her discovers that she had multiple personality disorder. Dr. Wilbur is forced to offer some therapy to Sybil to try and reunite her personalities. This is a way of preparing her to fight the harassment she had encountered when she was a small girl. Most of the audiences are shocked by the issues. Therefore, from the content of the movie, there are a large number of people who have not understood the meaning of this disorder.

In the movie, Sybil who is suffering from the disorder was sexually abused by her mother. This action triggers a lot of physical, emotional, and psychological torture. Several scholars have argued that when a person with a family history of the disorder is more likely to spread the issue to other members. From the idea, the director of the movie tries to support the idea when he explains that Sybil's abusive mother was also affected by paranoid schizophrenia. Additionally, Dr. Schreiber starts by identifying several symptoms of disorder from her patient, Shirley Mason. She classifies the disorder as dysfunctional dissociation. This kind of disorder is associated with a failure to recognize a particular person's response. The dissociation has vital effects in a person's life, primarily when it occurs at the uncontrollable period.

According to a study which was conducted by NAMI, a large percentage of people who are suffering from the disease are not aware of. They only identify once they seek some professional guidance about some common signs there are experiencing (Asia & Samanik, 2018). Immediately they discover they have the issue, most of them look so confused and keep wondering about a certain aspect that had occurred in their past life. The idea is effectively illustrated in Sybil's story. At first, Sybil is not aware of how she got into the river at the beginning of the film. She also explains to Dr. Wilbur that her mind becomes erased and then later woke in stranger areas. Additionally, she tells the doctor that she cannot remember her early childhood ages. Dr. Wilbur effectively discovers about the disorder when she realizes that Sybil wants to commit suicide.

In the film, Sybil, the director has discussed an extreme version of the actual state which is linked with the disorder. Therefore, when people are discussing issues in the movie, it is essential to understand which information the story wants to deliver. Throughout the movie, characters who have been affected by the disorder display varied and easily recognized traits. In real life, individuals who have been affected by the disorder do not show such extreme switching. Up to today, the severity of her state and doctor's diagnosis system remains under investigation (Dryden-Edwards, & Stoppler, 2017).

Even though the diagnose process of the disorder seems more like a drama, Dr. Wilbur plays a vital role in informing people on how to diagnose the disorder. According to NAMI, a therapist is required first to analyze and understand the various forms of personalities which are linked with a person who has the disorder (Brand, & Chasson, 2015). Immediately after identifying, handle violent or self-harming tendencies first. This helps a patient to process and show all torture memories which are influencing the formation of personalities. As such, therapists are able to link varies personalities into the main personality. Therefore, therapists are required to effectively follow the procedure because the treatment of the disorder is a long and slow process that requires an accurate application of treatment. However, in the movie, the reconciling process is seen as a drama because it only takes a single short at the end of the film. According to various research, treatment of DID can take a long time for a patient to integrate all the existing personality to a level that one feels that they are emotionally strong and thus, they can handle other difference personality in mind (Asia & Samanik, 2018)..

When the Movie Sybil Appear In Literature and Television

In the 1970s, a large number of people have already adapted application of televisions in their homes. Therefore, integrating the movie in the airing programs would increase the number of people who would view the issue. Additionally, for a long period, literature has been an essential teaching and learning platform. All social and cultural practices which affect human life are mostly integrated into literature. As such, it has become an essential tool that people can understand about mind and society. Researcher rely on literature to understand other issues which are related to a search topic (Asia & Samanik, 2018). Some cultural believes influence how scientists conduct their experiment and studies, especially in mind and society. The popularity of the movie, Sybil, has made essential components in the field of psychotherapy. For a long, therapist thought that the integration of the movie on television and literature could help to increase awareness among pe...

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