Review: Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

This book is shrouded in so much controversy. I obviously can’t be sure whether the details in this book are true or not – is it all a lie? Just embellishment? Was Sybil tricked into saying and acting that way? Whatever the case this book is very well known. It was written in 1973 but my Intro to Psychology professor used her case as a real example a few years ago when I took the course.  I was not expecting all of the tragic details about Sybil’s young life. It was incredibly sad and after reading about half the book I stopped finding it entertaining and it just became a sad story. It was a pretty lengthy book too, some parts of it just drone on and on. Flora Rheta Schreiber is a psychiatrist who treated Sybil gathering all the details over many years of treatment. The different personalities were fascinating – who comes out for what role, how each of them views Sybil and the others, who come out more often, etc. It was crazy to think that Sybil wasn’t always aware of them and never gets to know them – they all can observe each other except Sybil who has no idea who the others are or what they do when they ‘take over.’ I recommend this book to anyone who is curious about the story or the disorder. Whatever you might come to think of the book and the real story of Sybil, Dissociative Identity Disorder is real and this is the story that made most people aware of it.


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