Histrionics Personality Disorder

An understanding of Histrionics Personality Disorder

As the name suggests, Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) is a condition in which a person behaves melodramatically or inappropriately to seek attention from others. Their self-esteem depends on approval from others and not on their self-worth. They have an enormous desire to get noticed by others.

HPD belongs to a group of conditions called “Cluster B” or “Dramatic Personality Disorders”.

It is commonly found in females than in males and can be noticed from adolescence.


  • Act dramatically towards every situation. They exaggerate their expressions but they lack sincerity.
  • Feel restless unless they are not getting others’ attention.
  • Tremendous emotionality.
  • Rapid shifts in mood or temperament.
  • The tendency to commit suicide due to inattention.
  • Naive and get influenced by others easily.
  • Extremely cautious about their appearance.
  • Their conversations are allusive and impressionistic, but lack detail.
  • Believe relationships are intimate than they are in reality.


The causes for such behavior are still unknown. However, this condition can be attributed to:

  • A person with a family history of histrionic personality is more susceptible to this condition.
  • This disorder also tends to occur due to learning such behaviors from mother or any other family member in the past.
  • Lack of punishments or criticisms can generate this condition in a child when he/she grows up.
  • Appreciation or rewards only on certain approved behavior or completion of some approved tasks.
  • Self-centeredness.


  • The most opted method is psychotherapy. The psychotherapist uses verbal and psychological techniques to converse with the patient. The aim is to improve the patient’s general coping skills.
  • Another approach is psychodynamic psychotherapy. The psychotherapist gains a deeper understanding of the patient’s emotions and mental processes.
  • Comprehensive techniques such as yoga and biofeedback may also help people with personality disorders control their inner feelings.
  • Medications are not used for HPD patients unless they exhibit other symptoms like anxiety and depression. In such situations, they are prescribed drugs like antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics.


Differential diagnosis is the most preferred method for diagnosing HPD. Mental health professionals use this technique to rule out other disorders or medical conditions that may cause the symptoms.


Currently, there is no known way to prevent histrionic personality disorders, but treatment might be able to alleviate many of the related problems.


There is a fine line of difference between histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Though HPD and BPD are similar in fact that both have attention-seeking nature, manipulative behavior, and rapidly shifting emotions but BPD is self-harming in nature and has feelings of deep voidness and unstable self image (identity disturbance).