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.

Symptoms:

  • 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.

Causes:

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.

Treatment:

  • 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.

Diagnosis:

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.

Prevention:

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

HPD Vs BPD:

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).