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Friday, January 28, 2011

Sybil- A true story about an extraordinary young woman

It’s a true story about a girl who endured a traumatic childhood resulting in her developing 16 different personalities, each with a different name, age, and attitude. Some of her personalities were male as well!
The clips above give a good synopsis of the movie if you don’t have the time to watch the entire film. 
You can find the complete film with divided parts here: 
There’s an older version of the movie made in 1976 which can be found on youtube as well. 
Beware, the music is somewhat creepy! 


Helena said...

A fascinating topic. "The Minds of Billy Milligan" is worth a read too. He had 24 personalities, and committed various crimes, and is still alive today. Here's an article about him:

They showed this documentary on the fifth estate about a woman who has DID:

Sanjai said...

Wow, that's quite the story with Milligan. I wonder where he is!

DID still remains a controversial diagnosis. I talked to one psychiatrist who said that oftentimes, when you hear of people with so many different personalities, it's largely due to the psychiatrist describing states which they are unfamiliar with. That was just his opinion.

Helena said...

Really? I've never heard that take on it before. It seems that pretty well every case involves abuse as a trigger..though i'm not sure John Nash (the real person portrayed in "a beautiful mind") was abused.

Sanjai said...

Absolutely right! It's highly correlated with childhood abuse. But in extreme cases of lets say, 10+ personalities, many psychiatrists become skeptical if all these "personalities" are indeed different personalities.

I actually watched a biography on John Nash a few months back. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. DID has only been discovered fairly recently. In the past, cases of DID & other mental disorders were often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia. But John Nash had paranoid delusions, a hallmark for paranoid schizophrenia.

I'll have to dig up that biography one day. It's interesting to note that John Nash's son (John Nash III) was also a mathematical genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia. When his son's mental illness got worse, he lost all his mathematical ability. If my memory serves me correctly, he got treatment and eventually got his Phd in math.