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Sybil exposed: the extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case

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SYBIL: A name that conjures up enduring fascination for legions of obsessed fans who followed the nonfiction blockbuster from 1973 and the TV movie based on it--starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward--about a woman named Sybil with sixteen different personalities. Sybil became both a pop phenomenon and a revolutionary force in the psychotherapy industry. The book rocketed multiple personality disorder (MPD) into public consciousness and played a major role in having the diagnosis added to the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . But what do we really know about how Sybil came to be? In her news-breaking book Sybil Exposed , journalist Debbie Nathan gives proof that the allegedly true story was largely fabricated. The actual identity of Sybil (Shirley Mason) has been available for some years, as has the idea that the book might have been exaggerated. But in Sybil Exposed , Nathan reveals what really powered the legend: a trio of women--the willing patient, her ambitious shrink, and the imaginative journalist who spun their story into bestseller gold. From horrendously irresponsible therapeutic practices to calculated business decisions, the story Nathan unfurls is full of over-the-top behavior. Sybil's psychiatrist, driven by undisciplined idealism and galloping professional ambition, subjected the young woman to years of antipsychotics, psychedelics, uppers, and downers, including an untold number of injections with Pentothal, once known as "truth serum" but now widely recognized to provoke fantasies. It was during these "treatments" that Sybil produced the rambling, garbled, and probably "false memory"--based narratives of the hideous child abuse that her psychiatrist said caused her MPD. Sybil Exposed uses investigative journalism to tell a fascinating tale that reads like fiction but is fact. Nathan has followed an enormous trail of papers, records, photos, and tapes to unearth the lives and passions of these three women. The Sybil archive became available to the public only recently, and Nathan is the first person to have examined all of it and to provide proof that the story was an elaborate fraud--albeit one that the perpetrators may have half-believed. Before Sybil was published, there had been fewer than 200 known cases of MPD; within just a few years after, more than 40,000 people would be diagnosed with it. Set across the twentieth century and rooted in a time when few professional roles were available to women, this is a story of corrosive sexism, unchecked ambition, and shaky theories of psychoanalysis exuberantly and drastically practiced. It is the story of how one modest young woman's life turned psychiatry on its head and radically changed the course of therapy, and our culture, as well.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 62e8b51e-969c-086f-67b2-1f3e638a1591
Grouping Title sybil exposed the extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case
Grouping Author nathan debbie
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-11-20 22:54:26PM
Last Indexed 2019-11-21 00:00:06AM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Nathan, Debbie.
author_display Nathan, Debbie
available_at_catalog East
Edmondson Pike
Edmondson Pike Kids
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog East - Adult Non-Fiction
Edmondson Pike - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description The true story of the three women behind Sybil, the famous multiple-personality case.
format_catalog Book
format_category_catalog Audio Books
id 62e8b51e-969c-086f-67b2-1f3e638a1591
isbn 143916827
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literary_form Non Fiction
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local_callnumber_catalog 616.858 N274s
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog East
Edmondson Pike
Edmondson Pike Kids
primary_isbn 9781439168271
publishDate 2011
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000381648 Book Books 1st Free Press hardcover ed. English Free Press, c2011. xxi, 297 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
overdrive:6d7270e2-e2e0-448f-8ae5-6f927f44996a eAudiobook Audio Books English Tantor Media, Inc. 2011
recordtype grouped_work
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overdrive:6d7270e2-e2e0-448f-8ae5-6f927f44996a -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Mason, Shirley, -- 1923-1998
Multiple personality -- Patients -- Biography
Sybil, -- 1923-1998 -- Mental health
title_display Sybil exposed : the extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case
title_full Sybil Exposed The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case
Sybil exposed : the extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case / Debbie Nathan
title_short Sybil exposed :
title_sub the extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography
Mason, Shirley
Mental health
Multiple personality