She probably did suffer from a dissociative disorder of some kind. October 20, A STEM-focused c 3 educational nonprofit. Wilbur] was helping her identify aspects of her life, or perspectives, that she then called by name. Wilbur had been unable to get it published in professional journals. Spiegel went on to explain how these personalities came to be:

New York Times Magazine. I have the impression that Sybil learned from reading this book that she could express her agonies and her stresses in life through the histrionic display of multiple personalities, especially if it were encouraged by the therapist. Mason died on February 26, Skeptoid Media, 7 May I do not have any multiple personalities.

Retrieved October 30, At the center was a real person who was suffering from a real illness.

Wilbur determined that Mason’s mother, Hattie Dorsett, a psychotic who had been hospitalized with schizophrenia, had subjected the young Mason to years of astonishing sexual and sadistic abuses. She was evidently regarded as a talented artist and teacher. Flora Rheta Schreiber ‘s non-fiction book Sybil: Spiegel saw Mason over the course of several years.

A Multiple Personality Disorder Case Study | What is Psychology?

The abuse disdociative a turn for the worse once Paula turned fifteen and she was later to recall several incidents in which she was raped, both by her father and by a neighbour. Wilbur that if she didn’t go with the program she was not going to have Dr. I don’t even have a “double” to help me out. But if Schreiber had doubts, she suppressed them.


Most of her sessions were with Dr. The Skeptoid weekly science podcast is a free public service from Skeptoid Media, a c 3 educational nonprofit.

Real ‘Sybil’ Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake : NPR

Shirley Mason was the daughter of a schizophrenic mother. In the mid s, Dr.

case study of sybil dissociative identity disorder

Retrieved October 2, Wilbur, tothe year of her successful integration. She left the rest of her estate to a Seventh-day Adventist TV minister.

case study of sybil dissociative identity disorder

Two films of the same name were made, one released in and the other in Retrieved October 16, Mason died on February 26, So I told Wilbur and Schreiber that it would not be accurate to call Sybil a multiple personality, and vissociative it was not at all consistent with what I knew about her.

Heard on Morning Edition.

Had it not been for the deep-laid plans of Sybil Incorporated, psychiatry might well have caught up with dissociative disorders before so many women were labeled with Multiple Personality Syndrome. Wilbur diagnosed Mason with breast cancer inand she declined treatment; it later went into remission.

case study of sybil dissociative identity disorder

After suffering from blackouts and breakdowns for many years as an adult, she began having psychotherapy in an attempt to find a resolution to her emotional problems. She was very impressed with that book Mason lived in the shadows until her death in Mason’s diagnosis and treatment under Cornelia B. It remained in the DSM-IV, published inthough its name had been changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder and its definition substantially revised to recognize that there are no actual alternate personalities.


Spiegel also claimed to have made films of himself hypnotizing Mason, supposedly proving that Wilbur had “implanted false memories” in her mind, but when Suraci asked to identtity the films Spiegel said he had lost them.

The book succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations — it sold some 6 million copies around the world, dossociative init was made into a television movie starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward. Nathan claims that Wilbur, Mason, and Schreiber knowingly perpetrated a fraud and describes the purported manipulation of Wilbur by Mason and vice-versa and that the case created an “industry” of repressed memory.

She later moved to Lexington, Kentuckywhere she lived near Wilbur.

Real ‘Sybil’ Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

Wilbur have been criticized, with allegations that Wilbur manipulated or possibly misdiagnosed Mason. So she had the dilemma all journalists have nightmares about — what if my thesis turns out to be wrong as I do my research but it’s too late? Indeed, finding herself suddenly aware that she had no recollection of the previous few days during her youthful times at Columbia University were the main reason Shirley Mason had initially sought help.