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Transcript of Sybil Dorsett
of a character from the
"Sybil (2007)" Analyze This! A little bit about... Cont'd Background: Sybil's father is still alive, and mother died quite recently. Her mother was over 40 when she had Sybil. Unfortunately, her other babies died. Sybil herself almost died too as she weighed only 5 pounds. For this reason, her mother was very overbearing. Let's take a look! I am a psychiatrist, please call me Doc. Cornelia B. Wilbur I have been told Sybil Dorsett, a substitute teacher and a student at Columbia University, NYC. suffers long from blackouts and emotional breakdowns. For this reason, I am here today to psychoanalyze Sybil's backgrounds, feelings and experiences. Lets meet Sybil
Dorsett, shall we? Name: Sybil Isabel Dorsett
Place of birth: Wisconsin, US.
Age: January 25, 1923
School: Columbia University Sybil's issues are affected by her mother's. Let's take a look at Sybil and her mother's relationship. In this clip, we see that Sybil as a child, was physically, emotionally, sexually abused by her mother who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. This left a psychological impact on the child, resulting her to develop a mental illness called "multiple personality disorder" aka "dissociative identity disorder". Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development 0-18 months Trust vs. Mistrust 18 months-3 years Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt 3-6 years Initiative vs. Guilt 6-12 years Industry vs. Inferiority Adolescence Identity vs. Role Confusion Early Adulthood Intimacy vs. Isolation Middle Adulthood Generativity vs. Stagnation Older Adulthood Ego integrity vs. Despair Unconscious Preconscious Conscious Sigmund Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Subject Condition Sybil is constantly mistrusting of people around her. She is afraid of getting hurt and betrayed. This is most certainly as a result of her early stage of development, as her physical and psychological requirements were never met by her parents. Her father was too occupied, as he was a builder in town. Above all, Sybil never received the affection and nurturing that is required during this stage from the most significant relationship, the mother. Instead, her grandmother fulfilled this role. Sybil never gained independence as a child, as she was always forced to be beside her extremely, overbearing mother. This was because Sybil was the only survived baby from her mother's other miscarriages. Regardless, she was encountered with all sorts of abuse by her mother; physical, emotional, and sexual. In fact, her hands were tied to the legs of their piano while her mother was aggressively playing on the piano. She would beg her mom to allow her to go pee but was ignored. Therefore, she would exert the water as a matter of no choice but would get punished. As a result, it indicates Sybil's toilet phase has gone wrong resulting her to urinate at times, in nervous situations, as a matter of "no choice" During this stage, Sybil experiences conflict by participating in new activities independently but feel guilty due to the negative response she receives from her mother. It indicates, she has a clear memory of her childhood. She explains, when she coloured her trees purple, her mother stepped on it, saying, "trees are not purple! Stupid, Stupid, Stupid" The constant emotional abuse from her mother left a scar in the child's sensitive heart. This explains Sybil's lack of confidence as she refers, "I was far from perfect". As of result, it shows that her mother discouraged the pursuit of independence, offending her by calling her "stupid" which resulted her to develop a sense of guilt of taking initiative. Oral Anal Phallic Latency Genital 12-18 months Despite the criticism Sybil received from her mother, she found keen interest in art. This may seem as if she has accepted the cause and effect of her childhood however, she is susceptible to her past and encounter frequent blackouts that affect her surroundings. This may result in adequacy and inferiority among peer. Throughout infancy and childhood, the abuse and traumatizing events resulted her to develop multiple personalities.
1) Peggy Lou is a 9 year old girl emerges while crying hysterically due to Sybil's fears. She shows Sybil's anger as she was never allowed to express feelings of anger towards her mother. She lives in the memory of her past resulting her to feel depressed, and anger. Peggy also holds Sybil's mathematics ability to balance checkbooks.
2) Peggy Ann is afraid and very shy.
3) Mary is very sweet, neurotic, and loves poetry. She is named after her grandmother. She is the only one that attends church because of her christian background. The christian religion teaches love and kindness. However, her mother does not.
4) Vicky is a 18 year old who speaks french and is the shepherd of the different personalities that emerge. She communicates and controls them.
5) Marsha dresses in funeral attire and constantly and she paints in black. She thinks the end of the world is coming, but what she really fears is the end of Sybil.
6) Vanessa is 12 years old and plays the piano. She helps Sybil pursue a romantic relationship with Remon.
7) Ruthie is a 6 year old, and a of less developed self of Sybil. Whenever Sybil hears her mom's voice, she is so terrified that she regresses into Ruthie, an alter that parallels Sybil as a helpless, regressive, pre-verbal baby.
8) Sid is a 15 year hold who holds the male characteristic of Sybil. He shelf in the top of Sybil's closet to hide Vickie's paintings
9) Mike also holds the male characteristics of Sybil.
The levels of consciousness: personalities emerge and take over whenever she is in fear. Every personality has its own patterns of memory and series of conflict and relationships to everyone else. For this reason, she struggles in finding her identity as she brings the different personalities she has formed throughout childhood to her present instead of accepting the cause and effect and moving on. Despite the traumatizing event of her lover/friend's death Tommy she opened up and dated a grad student in math named Stan. However, he rejected her that left her distant from relationships. This explains the status of her relationship, single and unmarried. Although she dated. it failed due to her different personalities that emerged and controlled her. This stage has never been successfully completed as she never got married and had children. This is because she was still in the process of solving her own problems Taking a look at Sybil's journey it seems she lost many opportunities due to the factor of bringing her past to present and making it affect her. Therefore, she lost the opportunity to explore because of fear and just seeking outside of her comfort zone. Also, distancing herself from relationships. Birth to 12-18 months of age Sybil never received positive attention from her parents, thus little gratification, like breast feeding. This fixation is manifested in immaturity and neurotic behaviours, a trait that Ruthie possess and persist throughout Sybil's life. This stage focuses on the child's toilet training process. Sybil's mother was very strict and abusive. It shows that Sybil's mother put ice water enema, tied Sybil's hand to the legs of the piano, and forced her to hold the water in until the very last note. As the child complies to the id, it explains the development of environmental disorder such as sudden urination due to fear, and a weak self, a trait Sybil possess. 3 to 5-6 years During this stage, Sybil sexually possess her father's penis via Electra complex. This is evident as Sid and Mike holds the male characteristics of wanting to become like her father. Although she is in a female body, she believes she will eventually grow a penis and make babies. Sybil views her mother "dirty" and refuses to be a girl. Ultimately, she fulfills the Electra complex because she wishes for her mother's death. 5-6 to adolescence The latency stage of the child meets the criteria of resolving conflict from the previous stage. We see that Sybil's character habits developed in the previous stages are deteriorating. This explains the establishment of her anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, and low sense of self worth in which are all a form of neurosis. This may have occurred due to the inadequate resolution from the previous conflict. adolescence to adulthood The final stage of develop, Sybil seeks independence by moving to New York to complete her education in art. However, she is still in control of her past therefore has not detached herself from her mother as it haunts her everyday. She also remains unmarried and childless until her death. Superego Ego Id Mental Illness Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development Conclusion Big Five Theory 1. Openess to Experience 2. Introversion 3. Undirectedness 4. Antagonistic 5. Neuroticism Level 1: Sensorimotor Stage Level 2: Preoperational Stage Level 3: Concrete Operational Stage Level 4: Formal Operational Stage During this stage, infants are not aware of the objects or people outside their immediate environment, Along with operating with only few senses: vision, hearing and motor skills. Thus, Sybil becomes cognizant of the environment she lives in, as she is exposed to the music her mother plays. Sybil's ideas are demonstrated through symbolic plays like colouring trees purple. Operant conditioning occurs as her mother punishes this behaviour by calling her "stupid". Resultantly, she feels inferior, and far from being perfect as she says, "She (mother) does it everyday that I am bad... I am always bad". Sybil tries to understand the reasoning behind her punishment and abuse. Sybil's mother's childhood was full of anger due to her father's disapproval of her becoming a concert pianist. This unresolved past resulted her to arouse anger in Sybil. Despite this knowledge of her mother's past, Sybil still blames it on herself claiming that she is the problem. Although there is not much to say about this phase, Sybil demonstrates logic by utilizing her knowledge of mathematics to balance her checkbook. Sybil applies unconscious techniques to resolve and cope with conflict.
1. sublimation – Sybil's turns aggressiveness into appropriate behaviors through artistic gestures.
2. denial – She refuses to believe the realities of her problems as she claims "there is nothing wrong with me, is there?". She is also reluctant to discuss symptoms due to association with abuse, shame and fear.
3. regression – She returns to other more primitive behaviours through mental illness and hypnosis. Sybil is open to to art, creativity, imagination, unusual ideas and curiosity. Sybil has lower engagement with the social world which makes her an introvert. To reiterate, Sybil tends to be distant, suspicious, and mistrusting of others that makes her antagonistic. This is the most prominent personality trait of Sybil. She has a tendency to easily encounter unpleasant emotions such as anger, depression, and vulnerability. There is not much to say about this trait as it is not present in Sybil's personality. opposite of conscientiousness opposite of extraversion opposite of agreeableness Thanatos: Sybil has a strong driven id. This is particularly because of her childhood development. Sybil's id is prominent in the Thanatos side, and focuses on anger, aggression, violence and death. Sybil shows this behaviour by breaking the glass, as she has encountered bad memories during her childhood in regards of glass. She also has suicidal thoughts during night. Finally, she reacts violently toward her psychiatrist by throwing dangerous objects. Eros Although Sybil's id is mainly gravitated towards the thanatos, she has some creativity as she is an art student. As of definition, super ego
contains the moral sense of what society says is right or wrong.
Although Sybil's super ego is often absent, she holds some moral values. It is indicated in the video below, when her mother urinates in their neigbourhood's property. She indicates it was an embarrassment which shows she believes the behaviour was something foolish and immoral.s The ego mediates between the id and the super-ego. Although the id overpowers Sybil, she often realize when she does something horribly wrong and tries not to repeat them. However, the different personalities controls her behaviour making it unpreventable. Defense Mechanism Dissociative Identity Disorder In conclusion, large deal of Sybil's life has been influenced by the primary agent of socialization, her family causing her to be isolated emotionally. In fact, in class we learned how a person who has one or two parents with mental illness is more likely develop mental illness. Sybil's mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia which shows why Sybil developed a mental disorder herself.
She was also never was really allowed to express her feelings which explains the appearance of the different personalities that control her. aka "Multiple Personality Disorder" is a person diagnosed with more than two identities, or dissociated personality. It controls one's behaviour, and is accompanied by memory impairment. DID have been attributed to disruptions in memory caused by trauma, abuse and other forms of stress.
Sybil developed this mental illness during her childhood when her mother physically, sexually, and emotionally abused Sybil. She also encountered traumatic events as a child such as her friend dying in front of her eyes. She seeks therapy through hypnosis, a process of recovering memory as seen in the video below. Skip to 1:50 skip to 4:02 skip to 9:19 skip to 6:00