The movie Sybil brought out several different emotions and reactions personally for me. The story line follows a young woman’s struggle with personality disorder; the cause and effects of her disease throughout her life, and the process of her repressed memories finally coming to the surface. Although I wouldn’t say that the disorders that Sybil and I have are comparable, the process that she went through in becoming aware of her disorders and the devastation she felt when the repressed memories started to surface were almost identical.
I felt so much empathy for Sybil at different times that I had to hold back the tears. Actually at one point when she began to feel the panic take over her due to the green kitchen, I could begin to feel my chest get tight almost as though instinctively I understood what that meant for her. Her 14 personalities seemed to more so be a coping mechanism that she had learned to use throughout her life that enabled her to deal with the extreme dysfunction and fears she endured as a child.
Each one seemed to bring out the personality or traits that she herself was unable to produce. It was most likely where the repressed memories first began to get buried. This way Sybil herself wouldn’t have to experience the trauma. The other personalities protected her from it.
Much like Sybil, I didn’t understand why I had always had the nightmares, anxiety. I always felt like something was shamefully wrong with me, but if I kept it to myself they would eventually go away.
Instead they progressively got worse over the past few years until eventually I was no longer able to hide it. Throughout the movie you meet most of Sybil’s personalities, who all seem to want to help Sybil. Each personality is different, but all can relate to Sybil in some way. For example; some of her personalities had certain talents that Sybil thought she could not do anymore. After an episode in the park one day where Sybil seemed to blackout, she met a psychiatrist by the name of Dr.Wilbur. Dr. Wilbur becomes very interested in Sybil and also very dedicated to helping her. Dr.Wilbur soon finds out that Sybil has sixteen different personalities. The psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur, is portrayed as very ethical. In my opinion she never did anything unethical. All she seemed to do was help Sybil each time she would come and see her. One treatment that Dr. Wilbur uses is hypnosis. She used this by taking Sybil back to her old house with her abusive mother. This treatment seemed to be effective because Dr. Wilbur learned some very horrific details about Sybil’s childhood. Dr. Wilbur would also talk to Sybil’s different personalities and that also helped her in helping Sybil. At the end of the movie Dr. Wilbur convinces Sybil to meet her personalities,she does and it seems to help her in coping with all of her problems. Sybil seems to be getting better, she wants to put all of the personalities together and create one whole person. This movie definitely has an impact on society’s image of someone with Sybils disorder. I think that is makes people afraid of someone like her, because she was a little scary at certain points of the movie.