Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hubris Syndrome: The Newest Psychiatric Disorder?

Although it may seem like it at times, not everything I read is about autism. Not all of it is about ABA, either.

Among other things, I at least try to keep up with what the psychiatrists are up to, no matter how crazy I may think they are.

And yes, I think the psychiatric establishment needs its own services. A recent paper published in the prestegious neurology journal Brain helps illustrate why. Coauthored by an American psychiatrist and a member of the UK House of Lords, it sets out to identify and provide case studies of a "new" mental disorder for potential inclusion in the DSM-V and the ICD-10.

The paper's title? "Hubris syndrome: An acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years."

To quote the paper: "But the matter can be formulated differently so that it becomes appropriate to think of hubris in medical terms."

... yeah.

The proposed criteria for hubris syndrome included seeing the world as a place to "excercise power and seek glory", a predisposition to act to enhance their image. (And a concern/obsession with said image), use of messianic hyperbole, regarding themselves as their country/nation, using the royal "we", excessive confidence in their own judgement, extreme self-confidence... and a number of others.

The paper then went on to "diagnose" George W. Bush, David Lloyd George, Neville Chamberlain, Margaret Thatcher, and Tony Blair.

It also notes that Ritalin looks promising as a treatment.

And these are the people who classify autism as a disorder. Somehow, I'm not surprised that we made the DSM.

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