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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(2 star, Verified Purchases). See all 193 reviews
on March 15, 2012
Read the book Sybil and watched the movie and liked it, was haunting but interesting so when I saw this book regarding what I had seen/read I was interested. Started reading it and didn't like it from the start, too clinical and not much of a story, didn't even finish reading it.
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on October 30, 2011
Debbie Nathan is a great journalist BUT I can't buy all that was written. It disturbs me to the point of asking "WHY?" this book was written in the first place? Why discredit Dr. Wilbur, Flora and Sybil? Ms. Nathan did extensive research(lengthy acknowledgments)but again I ask Why?

Dr. Wilbur did her best to treat Sybil. That's all that matters. Treating a multiple takes a toll on both patient and therapist. It's exhausting work. I believe the illness, M.P.D. was too new back then and treatment was simply to do one's best while coming to understand an unbelievable bizarre illness. Multiplicity is real. This I know for sure. And whether Sybil did or did not have alters is not the issue. If Sybil switched into alters for any reason, her alters were real to her. Dr. Wilbur treated her patient.

I am a recovered multiple and believe my multiplicity was a God sent coping mechanism. I believe my mind created alternate parts of me to help me deal with horrific abuse. In my case, my abuse was kept hidden from neighbors, church members and friends. No one talked, questioned or came to my rescue. So how can anyone claim Sybil was not abused by her mother? Abuse is abuse. Keeping secrets of abuse can cause one to dissociate in order to survive. I felt Sybil's pain through how she was portrayed. Sounds like a multiple to me...

Reading this book saddened me. I am glad to have survived and live my life as one woman. The fact is Dr. Wilbur, Sybil and Flora are deceased. Let it go....there have been many changes in psychiatry over the years. No one is perfect. I myself have gone through intensive therapy and do not believe a reputable therapist like Dr. Wilbur would cross the lines mentioned in this book with her patient. I do not believe Dr. Wilbur crawled into bed with Sybil and most certainly can't believe she gave barbiturate injections or oral medications to the point of causing Sybil to be addicted. It's not ethical.

Many books have been written regarding multiple personality disorder, some true, some false. It is my hope that no therapist incorrectly judges a true multiple if they should ever have the privilege to treat one.

Karen Overhill of "Switching Time" Author, Richard Baer M.D.
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on March 8, 2013
This book claims to be an expose of Cornelia Wilbur, the psychiatrist who treated Sybil, and Flora Rheta Schreiber, the journalist whose book made Sybil a household name. Nathan makes some good points, but she is not the first person to have questioned Sybil's diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder (now DID). The author has done extensive research, which is a plus, but the book is marred by her obvious contempt for Wilbur and Schreiber. Much of the book is character assassination. Wilbur comes off as an opportunist and Schreiber as an ugly, emotionally insecure woman. For example, Nathan criticizes Schreiber's taste in clothing and gives intimate details of her sex life. This doesn't belong in a book that claims to be impartial. They're not relevant to the case she's trying to make. Nathan's vitriol undermines her case that Sybil's diagnosis was manufactured to sell the book. It's impossible to separate the author's bias from her interpretation of what actually happened. "Sybil Exposed" is a disappointing book about a fascinating subject.
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on April 6, 2013
Having known the principals involved in this story, and being a Psychiatrist myself, who has always had concerns about the Multiple Personality diagnosis, and some of the iatrogenic damage done to highly suggestible patients, by professionals looking for some level of personal/professional success/stardom, no matter how hard I tried, I still felt the author had some axe of her own to grind. Often, personal information about the principals, especially Connie Wilbur, seemed spurious reasons for criticism of her professional activities. I read it twice to compare my emotional and professional reactions in an attempt to check for bias. Watching a presentation on You Tube by the author, which I watched after reading the book, only served to confirm my sense the author had some personal axe to grind. As a psychiatrist, especially during the 80's and even 90's, I too felt there was indeed a hysterical contagion effect that indeed harmed both some patients and their families. The writings of Charcot talk about "the grande hysteric", long before the upsurge created by Connie Wilbur. I think a more academic and less polemic study would have better served the hysteric contagion of this diagnosis. Why were so many willing to "jump" on the diagnostic boat, and yet there were and are many in the field who argued cogently against the "rush to judgment". There's not much discussion about this accept by a few personal colleagues of Dr. Wilbur's, which seems to function only as proof of what an unscrupulous person she was. Although the author is not herself a Psychiatrist, a more balanced thesis with less emphasis on cutting Connie Wilbur down to size, would have been more educational and useful. ( By the way, Dr. Wilbur and I parted ways professionally and personally when she testified for Billy Milligan, in his favor.)
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