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Histrionic Personality Disorder

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Individuals who have Histrionic Personality Disorder are individuals who have intense and unstable emotions. In addition, individuals have distorted images and tend to need the approval of others to improve their self-esteem and be happy with themselves. In turn, individuals with such disorder tend to have a strong need for attention and will engage in inappropriate or dramatic behaviors just to get that attention. Often, individuals with this disorder tend to have good social skills however, rather than using them to an advantage and for everyone’s well-being, they use them to manipulate others in order to get their attention.

It is important to note that experts believe that about 3.8 million of adults in the United States suffer from Histrionic Personality Disorder. In addition, it is more common among women than it is in men.

What are the symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder?

  • An individual does not feel comfortable if they are not the center of attention
  • An individual may dress in a provocative way in order for them to get attention
  • An individual tends to shift their emotions from one minute to the next
  • Although they may be sensitive the individual will overreact as is they were before an audience
  • An individual may express an over concern for their physical appearance
  • The individual is easily influenced by others
  • The individuals tends to act before thinking it through
  • An individual is extremely sensitive to any critics
  • An individual is easily bored by a routine
  • An individual does not show concern for others
  • An individual may have a hard time maintaining relationships
  • An individual may threaten or attempt suicide to get the attention of others

What causes Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Although the exact cause is not known, experts believe that genetics play a big role in the development. For example, if an individuals parent or sibling have such disorder, then an individual has a higher chance of developing such condition. Also, there are other environmental factors that are believed to play a role such as a lack of criticism or punishment as a child.

How is Histrionic Personality Disorder treated?

It is often difficult to get an individual with Histrionic Personality Disorder to seek treatment since they often exaggerate their feelings or tend to dislike routine. However, individuals seek therapy for depression for example, if such condition develops with Histrionic Personality Disorder.

In addition, if an individual does seek treatment they often receive the following:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Such counseling is used to help an individual discover the motivations & any fears associated with their thoughts
  • Medication
    • May be used to treat other disorders or symptoms that may exist along with Histrionic Personality Disorder (i.e. anxiety or depression)

How can Histrionic Personality Disorder affect an individual?

  • It can affect the individuals social, professional, or interpersonal relationships
  • The individual is at higher risk of developing such condition

How can I cope with Histrionic Personality Disorder or help someone I know?

  • Educate yourself & loved ones on the subject
  • Seek professional help & take prescribed medications
  • Be patient