I know I have said this 1000 times but I am a lucky girl in that book companies give me books to review. It never gets old when I get asked to review a book that sparks my interest. I was recently asked to review a book that I couldn't say no to...it was called Sybil Exposed-The extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case. Admittedly I had ever seen the movie or read the book Sybil despite the fact that I teach psychology. So I went into this book only knowing general information about the story of Sybil. This book was AMAZING!!!! Seriously one of the best non-fiction books I have read. Probably second to Unbroken. The writer is Debbie Nathan who is a journalist so this book reads as though you are reading the transcript to a 20/20 special. Throughout the book you get to find out the real story of Sybil, her therapist, and the writer of the book. What you find out is shocking...like shock and awe shocking. It becomes clear to Nathan throughout her research that the real Sybil was not as sick as was portrayed in the book. That through a combination of embellishments by her doctor and the writer her real mental illness was nothing like what was portrayed in the book Sybil. Also, more disturbing was the fact that her therapist partially made up her diagnosis and didn't help Sybil get better, she often times made her worse. Including implanting memories into her subconscious while Sybil was highly drugged and under hypnosis. This book touches on so many aspects of the things that I teach in my psychology class. It discusses medical ethics, proper scientific method, and a doctor's responsibility to keeping her patients needs first rather than the what he/she thinks is best.
At the end of the this book I found myself questioning something that I never had before-Is DID (multiple personality disorder's new name) as prevalent as doctor's say it is. This book points out that Sybil and her case led to a huge rise in multiple personality diagnosis and this case was not even real. So scary to think that because of this how many people have been given a false diagnosis. Also at the end of this book I felt sad for the real Sybil. She had her mental health manipulated and as Nathan points out she could have lived a much more normal life then she did. She was forced into a a life of illness and infamy that she did not really deserve. I would give this book five stars and for me it is a must for anyone who is interested in psychology or mental illness.