There are some severe personality disorders, like borderline personality disorder (BPD), that are not easy to detect. Most BPs are very good at hiding their disorder form judges, mediators, evaluators, etc. They will even hide it from their own therapists and psychiatrists if they feel it's in their best interests. They can put on a mask to hide it when they want.The movie is based on a book that supposedly told a true story of a woman with a split personality. Such a condition is very rare.
The problem is that once they are comfortable, in their own homes, and they don't feel it's necessary to hide it, the true personality comes out and it is very damaging to children... both emotionally and physically, depending on the degree. ...
I know it's not medical proof, but check out the movie "The 3 Faces of Eve" sometime... even though it deals with multiple personality disorder, it was very similar to what some of us see when dealing with someone with another personality disorder.
It is nothing to do with schizophrenia, which is the preferred term for someone who is crazy.
I think that BPD was originally meant to be a term to describe people who on the border between being crazy and normal, and who do not necessarily need treatment. Now it has its own definition.
The movie was uncritically accepted as truthful, until it was recently debunked:
Then in 1998, several publications exposed the case as a sham. Robert Rieber at John Jay College of Criminal Justice listened to the Sybil tapes and concluded that Wilbur had induced the personalities in the patient. Her sessions included hypnosis and sodium pentothal and her technique was to name different emotional states as personalities. She would not allow Sybil to protest. Rieber realized that no evidence for the reported abuse had been found.I guess that I've given my reader some hope of smoking out his wife as a BPD. But it just sounds like a medieval witch-hunt to me. When he says that "BPs are very good at hiding their disorder", it just sounds like a medieval prosecutor saying that witches are good at concealing their pact with the devil.
Then Peter Swales, a historian of psychoanalysis, discovered Sybil's true identity and located her. He discovered she bore little resemblance to the patient presented in the book. "It was the case," said Swales, "that Shirley was only a multiple personality in the full-blown sense in the psychoanalytic setting." Newsweek and The New Yorker followed up these revelations with startling stories.
I don't doubt that there are a lot of crazy moms out there. I do doubt that they can be smoked out by some silly issuing a court order for the mom to take a 175-question true/false questionnaire.
If BPs are so harmful, and if these psychologists can reliably screen them out, then why don't we just give this test to everyone in the adult population? While we are at it, we could give them lie detector tests, diabetes tests, and whatever else some highly-paid professionals can lobby for.