Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case

They called her Sybil. Hers was a narrative that changed modern psychiatry, a young woman, her childhood riddled with such abuse that her mind fragmented, shattered into 16 different personalities. Her story would sell millions of books and inspire a gripping film. After Sybil's struggles became public, Multiple Personality Disorder went from being a rare psychiatric condition to a diagnosis for tens-of-thousands of patients. Except the story of Sybil was One Big Lie. We explore the real story with the journalist who unearthed it.



Part Three of The Current

Sybli Exposed - Debbie Nathan

We started this segment with a clip from from the 2007 film version of Sybil, a movie inspired by one of the most sensational books of the Seventies. Sybil was the story of a young woman, abused by her mother as a young girl. She suffered a mental breakdown and created multiple personalities.

The book and subsequent movies put the disorder, known then as Multiple Personality Disorder on the diagnostic map. The author, Flora Schreiber and Sybil's psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur became rich and famous. Sybil also profited from the story, but her true identity remained secret until after all three women were dead.

Now, a new book by journalist Debbie Nathan has done more than uncover Sybil's true name. In her book, Sybil Exposed. The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case, Debbie Nathan uncovers that the "true" story of Sybil, was one big lie. Debbie Nathan was in New York City.

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Last Word - Thursday Call-in Promo

We at The Current received such an overwhelming response to last week's special program on being poor in Canada that we're going to follow up with a special again this week.

Thursday, we'll be joined by poet Lorna Crozier and we'll open the phone lines to take your calls. We want to hear your stories: what is it like being poor in Canada?

You can write in with your stories before then by e-mail or through our toll free feedback line: 1 877 287 7366.


Other segments from today's show:

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