"Sybil" is a movie based on the true story of Shirley Mason and her psychiatrist Dr. Wilbur. The 1976 movie, based on the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber, debuted on television as a made for tv movie of the week starring Sally Field. The 2007 remake stars Tammy Blachard. Shirley Mason's name was changed to Sybil Dorsett aka Sybil Isabel Dorsett in both movies to protect her identity.
"Sybil" is a fascinating movie about the case of a woman who was physically and sexually abused by her own mother, who allegedly suffered from schizophrenia. The childhood abuse has a direct effect on Sybil's development of multiple personality disorder. The movie shows the viewer flashbacks of Sybil's unbearable childhood, including brutal scenes of mental and physical torture inflicted upon her at the hands of her demented mother. Sybil sorts through the multiple personalities with the help of a psychiatrist.
In the real story, Shirley Ardell Mason had 16 different personalities, instead of the 13 that were depicted in the films. Since the making of the movies several people have come forward to say that the true story was a hoax and that Sybil was faking the multiple personality disorder, now commonly referred to as dissociative identity disorder, according to NPR News.
After the making of the movie, the real Sybil went into hiding.
Before her death, Shirley Mason, confirmed that she did sufferer from multiple personality disorder. She shared that information along with other intimate details of her life through letters and conversations that were published in Author Nancy Preston's book "After Sybil."
Shirley Mason died in 1998.
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