Histrionic Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • 29 Nov 2022
  • General

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental disorder characterized by unstable emotions, a distorted self-image, and an overwhelming desire to be noticed. People with HPD often act dramatically or inappropriately to get attention.

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder is a mental health disorder marked by intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. The word "historical" means "dramatic or theatrical".

The self-esteem of people with this personality disorder depends on the approval of others. Therefore, people's self-respect does not come from a true sense of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed. Therefore, they act dramatically or inappropriately.

What are the Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder?

HPD symptoms are as follows:

  • Inappropriate behavior to gain praise or approval
  • Obsessive focus on appearance
  • Always acting to be the center of attention
  • Using physical appearance to attract attention
  • Being easily influenced by others
  • Excessive attention seeking
  • Believing that relationships are closer or more intimate than they really are

Histrionic Personality Disorder Causes and Risk Factors

Histrionic personality disorder are as follows:

  • Unexpected attention from parents
  • Being rewarded for attention-seeking behavior as a child
  • Learning behaviors from a parent or caregiver with HPD
  • Lack of criticism or punishment as a child
  • Personality disorders in the family
  • A history of anxiety or depression

How is HPD Diagnosed?

If there are symptoms of histrionic personality disorder, the doctor will perform an evaluation by taking a complete medical and psychiatric history. Physical examination and laboratory tests may be recommended to rule out other diseases.

If a physical cause for the symptoms cannot be found, the doctor will refer the person to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed behavioral health professional who can use interview and assessment tools specifically designed to assess the person.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

The following methods can be used in treatment:

Medication: There is no medication to treat HPD. However, the symptoms can be reduced with medications.

Therapy: Therapy is highly effective in treating this disorder.

Education: It can help you learn more about HPD, understand the triggers, and also explain your condition to those around you.


How Common is HPD?

HPD is relatively rare. About 1% of people are thought to have this condition.

What are the Complications Associated with HPD?

Histrionic personality disorder can affect a person's relationships and how they respond to failures.

Can HPD be Prevented?

HPD cannot be prevented. However, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms.

What are the Risk Factors?

There are several factors that increase a person's risk of developing a personality disorder. Some of these risk factors are as follows:

  • Environmental stimuli (light, noise, etc.)
  • Experiencing childhood trauma
  • Be verbally abused

What Types of Therapy Will Benefit People with HPD?

Histrionic personality disorder are as follows. Your therapist will decide which one of these therapies is most suitable for you.

  • Group therapy: A type of psychotherapy that involves a group of people describing and discussing their problems together under the supervision of a therapist or psychologist.
  • Supportive psychotherapy: It aims to improve symptoms, maintain, improve or improve self-esteem and coping skills.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Cognitive behavioral therapy; It is a type of structured, targeted therapy. A therapist or psychologist helps you take a close look at your thoughts and feelings. This therapy helps you understand how your thoughts affect your actions. In this way, you can forget negative thought and behavior patterns. So, you can learn to adopt healthier thinking patterns and habits.

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