Sybil Reaction Paper

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The Multiple Personalities in Sybil

The movie Sybil brought out several different emotions and reactions personally for me. The story line follows a young woman’s struggle with personality disorder; the cause and effects of her disease throughout her life, and the process of her repressed memories finally coming to the surface.

Although I wouldn’t say that the disorders that Sybil and I have are comparable, the process that she went through in becoming aware of her disorders and the devastation she felt when the repressed memories started to surface were almost identical. I felt so much empathy for Sybil at different times that I had to hold back the tears. Actually at one point when she began to feel the panic take over her due to the green kitchen, I could begin to feel my chest get tight almost as though instinctively I understood what that meant for her.

Her 14 personalities seemed to more so be a coping mechanism that she had learned to use throughout her life that enabled her to deal with the extreme dysfunction and fears she endured as a child. Each one seemed to bring out the personality or traits that she herself was unable to produce. It was most likely where the repressed memories first began to get buried. This way Sybil herself wouldn’t have to experience the trauma. The other personalities protected her from it. Much like Sybil, I didn’t understand why I had always had the nightmares, anxiety, or the flashbacks that I did at inappropriate times in my life. I always felt like something was shamefully wrong with me, but if I kept it to myself they would eventually go away. Instead they progressively got worse over the past few years until eventually I was no longer able to hide it. Again similar to what Sybil felt. When I did secretly see a therapist for the first time it was absolutely emotionally draining, and the first time that I had told another person about what I went through. It seemed to be the same for Sybil’s...
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