what it is, symptoms and causes

There are certain mental syndromes or pathologies that are not classified in the Diagnostic Manuals of Mental Disorders (CIE and DSM); however, many are known to mental health professionals and in some cases are considered in clinical practice to seek the best treatment.

The hubris syndrome, which is one of those syndromes not listed in the DSM or the CIE, is characterized by an excess of arrogance that some people have and that exceeds the limits of what could be considered normal, being more frequent in people with Potency.

In this article we will talk in more detail about hubris syndromeand for this we will explain to you what your symptoms are and what jobs are usually occupied in most cases by people who often develop this little-known psychological disorder.

What is hubris syndrome?

Hybris syndrome, also known as “Hybris syndrome” (Greek: ὕβρις, hýbris), meaning arrogance or pride, was first described by ex-politician David Owen and psychiatrist Jonathan Davidson. a diagnostic grid to classify the excessive power of certain political personalities.

In their research on Hubris Syndrome, Owen and Davidson analyzed the psychological profiles of US Presidents and British Prime Ministers who had held office over the past 100 years, and what they found was that 7 Presidents of the United States had shown personality traits related to arrogance (Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, and George W. Bush. However, only one of the presidents mentioned could fit the diagnosis of Hubis Syndrome, and that was George W Bush .

In contrast, four British prime ministers have been diagnosed with hubris syndrome: David Lloyd George, Neville Chamberlain, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Moreover, apart from those who fit into this syndrome, all the other prime ministers analyzed had shown signs of excessive pride (Winston Churchill, Herbert Asquith and Anthony Eden).

Hubris syndrome occurs in people people who develop a personality change when in a position of power, as can be a high political office; although it can also occur in any other field such as business (eg CEOs of large corporations).

In any case, Hubris syndrome is the development of people who are in a high position of extreme pride, possessing excessive self-confidence, as well as dismissive ways of behaving towards others, especially those with more humble jobs; which causes all these character traits to lead the person who develops the hubris syndrome to behave impulsively, and can even become destructive.

Although it is not a syndrome specified in the main diagnostic manuals (DSM and CIE), it is recognized in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, being considered a subtype of disorder of the narcissistic personality (group B).

Symptoms of hubris syndrome

Owen and Davidson describe a diagnostic picture of hubris syndrome with characteristic symptomsbeing these that we will enumerate next:

  • He tends to see the world as the setting for his power and glory.
  • He performs certain actions in order to glorify his own image and self-glorification.
  • He identifies with the organization, the state and the nation.
  • The subject is obsessed with his self-image.
  • He often uses his power to glorify himself.
  • He has excessive self-confidence and also shows contempt for others and harsh criticism.
  • He has suffered a loss of contact with reality, and there may be a gradual isolation.
  • He may even consider himself a messiah, speaking in a messianic way to talk about any of his actions.
  • He tends to talk about himself in the third person and uses a regal form to talk about us.
  • Performs impulsive and reckless behaviors.
  • He is convinced of the merits of his proposals without worrying about the costs.
  • He performs his professional duties in an incompetent manner, caused by overconfidence.
  • He feels that he should not be held accountable to anyone.
  • He firmly believes that the higher courts (history or God if he is religious) will absolve him of his wrongdoings.

Relationship Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Hubris Syndrome

Once we have seen what Hubris syndrome is and what are the possible symptoms that must be identified to diagnose a clinical picture, it is worth explaining what is its relation to narcissistic personality disorder, since we could say that Hubris Syndrome is a subtype of this disorder that can be found classified in diagnostic manuals on mental disorders such as the DSM-5.

On the DSM-5 Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is said to model a need for admiration, a sense of grandeur, and a lack of empathy for others. which usually begins in early adulthood. For the diagnosis of this personality disorder, where I wanted to classify Hubris syndrome as a subtype, in the DSM-5 are established 9 criteria, of which at least 5 or more of them must be present, these criteria being the ones we are going to see below:

  • The subject lacks empathy.
  • Have a great sense of the importance of yourself.
  • The subject regards it as unique and special.
  • The subject is concerned with a series of fantasies about power, ideal love and unlimited success.
  • He considers himself to have a unique and particular sense of entitlement.
  • It requires excessive admiration.
  • He acts in an exploitative manner with others.
  • He often thinks that others envy him and/or is jealous.
  • He behaves arrogantly or arrogantly.

As we have seen from the diagnostic criteria for Hubris syndrome and narcissistic personality disorder, there is a high degree of parallelism between the two disorders. About 7 of the 14 diagnostic symptoms proposed by Owen for hubris syndrome are also characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder.. On the other hand, at least 6 of the 9 DSM-5 narcissistic personality disorder criteria are related to Hubris syndrome; however, we can also observe that there are slight differences between the two.


Hubris syndrome usually does not develop suddenlyappearing their symptoms overnight, but they usually develop gradually, being an example that we will expose below.

As mentioned earlier, hubris syndrome is usually developed by people in high positions, in any field, so when they reach that position, it is more common for them to have a lot of doubts about their early days. or even their first functions and also of each decision that will have to be taken. But over time, if things go wrong, they’ll start to feel more confident, and that’s when they’ll think they deserve it.

When all is well, flattery comes, acting as a booster that will make your ego grow and begin to raise your self-esteem and confidence to unreasonable levels. And, when this happens, this person can start to be arrogant, then he will feel indispensable, believing that success will last him permanently and that is when pride begins, feeling superior to others, causing him to have an agreement with other distant or even contemptuous people.

When the person has reached a degree of pride in his way of being and acting, it is when he can develop a certain paranoia, the way he will think that others are jealous of him and also You may find that other people want to knock you down. This can lead to misfortune for that person and those around him, and makes it difficult for him to perform his duties properly and it would cause him to lose.

When a person with hubris syndrome loses their job, they are usually in disbelief because they think they were the right person to exercise, which could lead them into severe depression.

Leave a Comment