People with histrionic personality disorder have intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. The preservation of their self-confidence depends on the consent of others and is not created by real, self-esteem. Often, these people have a strong desire for attention and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to maintain it. The word histrionic means “dramatic” or “theatrical”.
This personality disorder occurs more frequently in women than in men and usually manifests itself in adolescence or early adulthood.
Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms
In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills, which they mostly use to manipulate other people to attract attention.
In addition, people may have other symptoms that include:
– Feeling unwell unless he or she is at the center of attention
– Dress charming and / or seductive and flirtatious behavior
– Change emotions quickly
– To behave very dramatically as if performed in front of an audience, with exaggerated emotions and expressions, but without sincerity
– Worry excessively about their own external appearance
– Constantly seek confirmation and approval
– Be by others credulous and easy to influence
– Extremely sensitive to criticism or displeasure
– Weak tolerance of frustration and being easily bored with routine, often starts projects that can not be completed or move from one job to another
– Do not think about acting
– Make quick decisions
– Self-centered and rarely shows concern for others
– Difficulties maintaining relationships often seem wrong or superficial in dealing with others
– Threaten or suicide (to get attention)
Histrionic Personality Disorder Root Cause
The exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is unknown, but many experts believe that both learned and inherited factors play a role in development. For example, the tendency for Histrionic Personality Disorder to be in the family indicates that genetic susceptibility to the disorder is inheritable. However, it may also be that a child from a parent with this disorder has simply learned the pre-lived behavior, and emulates it.
Other social factors may have gone into particulars about why the person is so inexperienced against criticism and so much looking for approval and attention. For example, it may be because the child as a child has only received attention if it has been able to demonstrate a certain, recognized behavior. Thus, the recognition of the parent is not always predictable and can lead to confusion about what is acknowledged and what is not.
As with all other personality disorders , the onset of the disorder also depends on the individual’s temperament and psychological style, as well as how people learned to deal with stress while growing up.
Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment
Usually, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe that they need therapy. They also tend to exaggerate their feelings, and by being quickly bored with routines, a treatment plan is often unattractive to them and difficult to enforce or complete. However, it often happens that they seek help for depression, possibly in connection with a lost or failed relationship, or other problems that burden them.
Psychotherapy is usually the choice of treatment for histrionic personality disorder. The purpose of the treatment is to help the person expose the motivations and fears associated with his or her thoughts and behavior, and to help the person relate to other people in a more positive way.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.)
Mc Williams, N. (2011). Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. New York, NY / USA: The Guilford Press
National Institutes of Health,
US Department of Health and Human Services,
International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (2015). Journal of Personality Disorder. New York, NY / USA: The Guilford Press
Film recommendation on the subject of histrionic personality disorder: