Histrionic Personality Disorder TreatmentHistrionic personality disorder affects around 4 million people, or almost 2 percent of the population. It is indicative of specific behaviors, feelings, and emotions of the person with the disorder.

We all have different personalities. Some people are outgoing and provocative, while others may be withdrawn and introverts. Our personality is part of what makes us unique. Yet some people have personality disorders. They cannot help having this disorder but can get treatment to help alleviate some of the symptoms and behaviors.

Here is more about histrionic personality disorder: what it is, the statistics on who gets it, its symptoms, and its treatment options.

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

This disorder is quite unique and isn’t as prevalent as some mental health disorders. According to Psychology Today:

Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by constant attention-seeking, emotional overreaction, and seductive behavior. People with this condition tend to overdramatize situations, which may impair relationships and lead to depression. Yet they are highly suggestible, easily susceptible to the influence of others.

Those with this disorder must be the center of attention. They may make inappropriate sexual advances in inappropriate situations such as work environments, social gatherings, and so on.

Their emotionality is excessive, and they are always seeking attention and approval from others. They may be quite self-centered, use their physical appearance for attention, and are often the life of the party — until it is embarrassing for others.

This is a chronic condition with no cure, but it can be treated to minimize some of its adverse effects.

What Type of Personality Disorder Is It?

There are groups of personality disorders. According to Medical News Today:

Cluster A Personality Disorders

These disorders involve behavior that seems unusual and eccentric to others, according to Mental Health America (MHA).

They include:

  • paranoid personality disorder
  • schizoid personality disorder
  • schizotypal personality disorder

Cluster B Personality Disorders

These disorders feature behavior that is emotional, dramatic, or erratic. Examples include:

  • antisocial personality disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • histrionic personality disorder
  • narcissistic personality disorder

Cluster C Personality Disorders

Anxiety and fear underlie the behaviors that occur with Cluster C disorders. Examples of these include:

  • avoidant personality disorder
  • dependent personality disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorders

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What Causes Histrionic Personality Disorder?

There is no known specific cause for this disorder. Researchers do believe that genetics and even childhood events may be part of what causes histrionic personality disorder. HPD may be caused by biological, developmental, cognitive, and social factors.

Some factors include neurochemical or physiological causes, developmental causes, biosocial learning causes, sociocultural causes, and of course there are always personal variables.

For instance, under the developmental causation umbrella are variables such as repression, denial, dissociation, displacement, and rationalization.

Take personal variables, for example. It may be normal for a younger person to display seductive behavior for attention, but if this were to continue into adulthood, it may be indicative of histrionic personality disorder.

Statistics on Histrionic Personality Disorder

There are approximately 4 million people or almost 2 percent of the population who have been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder. And two-thirds are women. Yet, one theory for it being more prevalent in women is that with men, it is more socially acceptable to be sexually provocative.

Another theory focuses on the fact that women with this disorder will more often seek mental health treatment for depression after a romantic failure.

And speaking of romance, those with histrionic personality disorder sometimes believe that someone loves them, while this person may not even be more than a passing acquaintance. Some see a deeper connection when none is there. There is even a case where a doctor sued a woman who claimed to be having an affair with her when none of it ever happened.

What are the Symptoms?

Histrionic personality disorder showcases a wide variety of symptoms. With the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) scale, there must be five or more of the symptoms present for a diagnosis. The symptoms are:

  • Being self-centered and uncomfortable when not the center of attention
  • Is easily influenced by others or highly suggestible
  • Persistently seeking approval or reassurance
  • A tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
  • Being seductive in appearance or actions when it is inappropriate
  • Displays emotions dramatically and exaggerated
  • May appear shallow due to rapidly shifting emotional states
  • Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details
  • Overly concerned with physical appearance, and using physical appearance to draw attention to self

While these symptoms may seem precise, those with histrionic personality disorder, or HPD, are often charming, seductive, and energetic. In fact, there are a few celebrities who are thought of as having this disorder. Without specific names, think of those who must be the center of attention. Everything is about them and they’ll go to great lengths to keep up with that fame and attention.

What are the Treatment Options for Histrionic Personality Disorder?

The main treatment for histrionic personality disorder is psychotherapy. This is often a challenge for professionals. The reason is that the layers of this disorder include habits like exaggerating, being the center of attention, and being highly suggestible. This creates an atmosphere that makes it difficult to treat. Yet, this disorder is treatable.

There is a variety of treatment options that encompass psychotherapy. Transformations offers a comprehensive treatment plan along with compassionate and caring professionals. Along with psychotherapy, there are experiential and holistic treatment options available.

Those with histrionic personality disorder may also find that along with individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy are also helpful.

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