Sybil

Imagine what it would be like if there were long periods of time you could not account for. You get to various places, even move from state to state, without knowing how. People call you by different names and say that you have done or said things that you have absolutely no memory of.

Welcome to the world of someone with multiple personalities.

"Sybil," by Flora Rheta Schreiber, tells the amazing but true story of Sybil Dorsett, a woman who had 16 separate personalities. This novel explains how the personalities came into existence, what it was like living with them and the treatment of a multiple personality.

When she was a child, Sybil was forced to endure horrific abuse from her mother. Since Sybil was unable to handle such trauma, she developed various personalities over the course of more than two decades who could deal with the abuse for her.

All of her life there were periods of time that Sybil could not account for, including one point where one of her personalities took over for a span of several years. She just thought that everyone experienced this.

Problems such as these followed Sybil all the way through her life, making things such as going to school and having a job very difficult. She also had many problems when it came to maintaining relationships with people. She tried to deal with it, but eventually it all became too much for her.

In the 1950s, Sybil began seeing psychiatrist Cornelia B. Wilbur. Wilbur would be the first person to recognize Sybil’s problem and would become a major force in helping Sybil get her life together.

During the course of Sybil’s therapy, the various personalities come to the forefront to give Dr. Wilbur insight into the mind and life of Sybil. Each personality is distinctly different from all of the others.

The treatment that Dr. Wilbur uses on Sybil involved trying to fuse all of the personalities into one being. Not only is the task a difficult one, but it is also a challenge to get all of the personalities to agree to it. It is interesting to see exactly how the treatment is put into action.

Multiple Personality Disorder may be difficult for some people to believe, but the contents of this novel are far too unique to have been made up.

The story of Sybil Dorsett is a compelling one. It is hard not to be in awe of her after reading about her amazing life. If you are looking for something that is very different to read, then "Sybil" is sure to please.