Sybil & Primal Fear

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Sybil & Primal Fear

In the movies Sybil and Primal fear the psychological disorder Dissociative Identity was evident in both Sybil and Aaron, respectively. Dissociative Identity, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is a condition in which, an individual has a host personality along with at least two or more personalities with each identity having his/her own ideas, memories, thoughts and way of doing things (www.mental-health-matters.com). These identities alternate back and forth assuming control over the other identities behavior. The inability to remember pertinent personal information, such as: childhood history is also a clear indication of this disorder. The needs and behavior that the primary identity lacks is usually freely displayed by one or more of the altering identities (Butcher, Mineka, Hooley, 299). The alter identities as referred to by Butcher, Mineka and Hooley, may appear different in terms of their gender, age, handwriting, sexual orientation, different languages spoken and basic information; “roles such as a child and someone of the opposite sex are extremely common” (299). These identities take control at different times and switches occur very quickly in most cases. Some symptoms of DID include: depression, suicidal thoughts, headaches, post-traumatic symptoms as well as others. (Butcher, Mineka, Hooley for APA, 2000; Maldonado et al., 2002 pg. 300). In the movie, Sybil created distinct personalities to cope with the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother as a child. Among her multiple personalities were: aggressive and angry Peggy, Mary who attempted suicide, the baby Sybil and Vicky the strong-willed, French speaking diva. Sybil, a timid, shy disturbed young woman was aware that something was wrong, based on her blackouts, gaps in time and her bizarre behavior (In the scene where she was out on a field trip with her students, an older lady was swinging a little girl and the noise from the swing triggered one of...
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