ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sybil Movie Review 1976~Some insights to personality disorder and treatment

Updated on August 7, 2011

What to say about Sybil?

There's a lot to say about this movie. But most of all it was strange. The events that led up to Sybil's multiple personality disorder and the treatment were not pleasant, but I had to see it as I'd heard so much about it, it's one of those movies you have to see like Psycho or the Exorcist.

During the movie from middle towards the end, I kept saying to myself, "Hurry up and end!" Everyone gets the gist of the movie, that this young woman begins seeing a psychiatrist, not one who prescribes medication, but an analytical one who provides talk therapy and even hypnotism. This doctor, a woman, learns of about a dozen personalities in Sybil which have developed to "keep her together".

Dr. Warren learns through these personalities that Sybil had an extremely torturous and abusive childhood, something I don't think any of us would wish on anyone. Through a "long" time of therapy, a 'miracle' happens and Sybil is cured. I was worried about the ending because a friend said, "Ha, I won't tell you the end." Well, this worried me, as I am hoping to see a good result of all this therapy, and over 2 hours of watching it to say the least!! I was imagining a horrible, bloody ending, but it is not. Thank goodness :)

Friends over the years told me this movie was frightening, scary, and of course it is a drama. Yes, the movie has dramatic music, and shows mean things happening to a girl, but the main focus is on the therapy between the patient, Sybil, and Dr. Warren.

I would reccommend this to anyone in psychiatry, or any patient, for it really proves how psychotherapy can solve a "mental illness" and how medications, according to Dr. Peter Breggin, renowned psychiatrist, are in fact a last resort, or should be.

This movie is very educational to those sick and those not. It is a true story and beautifully acted out by Sally Field~such an amazing performance that I've never seen before~true talent and hard work that won her an Emmy.

This movie is a great insight to the mental health field and how doctors used to care and now just give out pills. It shows the endurance and willingness of the patient and the kindness and endurance and love of the doctor which = the perfect recipe for wellness. Sybil is happy now, the end of the movie says. It's been 34 years since it came out in 1976. 4 stars for excellent.

Did you like "Sybil" ?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago


      Yes it is unsettling but has happy ending. Glad you liked my review!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      Sybil is an uncanny walk through the mind of a very sick yet endearing woman. I agree with your comment that Dr's tend to dish out meds and this way they don't have to get as deeply involved in the life of those who are ill. Medicine is nothing like it should be these day's. Nice review; if I hadn't already watched the movie, i would certainly watch it after eading your work. Good job!


    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Denise Handlon

      thankyou. You understand so well :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Schoolgirl-I work with the mentally ill and you are absolutely correct re: family support. It is what makes the difference, not just for the M.I. but for all mankind. Humans need each other for the support and love, compassion and kindness. For the mentally ill, it is even more important b/c most people avoid interacting with someone who is a bit odd or different in some way. And, frankly, there are cases where damage and emotional destruction has occurred between parties.

      It is a fascinating world, isn't it?

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thankyou MPG Narratives

      This was definitely hard to watch for me, it is very dramatatic and sad too. My instinct is her mother was very disturbed but you must have picked up on that. The abuse was horrific I agree....You have a point there that therapists may not have time to do talk therapy or rather psychotherapy on everyone. Sad truth I guess, maybe only the rich can afford, I don't know. But love certainly goes a long way- from family and friends. I've noticed the most happy "mentally ill people" have support from friend and family and I know that goes with healthy people too.

      What a difference love makes even with our pets.

      thanks so much :)

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Denise! Thanks for commenting :) Yes, psychosis is a mystery at times, I think having multiple personalites may be considered psychosis, especially during the changes from one to another as sczophrenics have psychosis in halluciantions- which can be not only auditory but tactile and smell too. This movie enlightened me to the fact that probably any disorder can be cured through good therapy, in the movie it took 11years...But what a break though- where some people would " lock her away for life." So there is hope but we need good doctors.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this review....and happy to bring it back "into the limelight".

      Thanks very much for your feedback! Most appreciated :-)

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I remember watching Sybil years ago and being horrified at what happened to her. How could a Mother be so cruel. You are right in saying the therapy is the focus and so it should be in such a case. It is a pity that drugs are pushed more so nowadays, but then with our hectic lifestyles do the therapists have a choice. Great review, might watch is again soon.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey you...great job on the review. Psychosis is really both sad and fascinating. I've always been curious as to why one person will 'go off the deep end' and another won;t. Certainly, severe cases of abuse warrant a defense system that others do not understand. Thanks for bringing this great movie back into the limelight.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      rdland05, cool, I hope you get something useful from it :)

    • rdlang05 profile image

      R D Langr 

      8 years ago from Minnesota


      I've never seen this movie, but, being a psych student I probably should. Maybe I'll check it out now!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      Thank you very much for commenting. It was a bit unsettling to watch! But a good movie :) Many lessons to learn.


      Thankyou for this. I am trying to look into ways of getting off meds safely, and there are ads on this page that allude to that. Keep me informed if you have any success. Take care

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      8 years ago from Washington MI

      Great movie, but so so sad. It makes one wonder how a person can even with the "protection" of all the personalities live through that horror. It is to bad therapy now consists of a 50 minute gabfest more or less, and a prescription on the way out. Good read.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job,i remember this movie Sally Field was great in the movie. I like the way you look on the therapy side of it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)