Histrionic Personality Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of personality disorders in the ‘Cluster B’ category. Someone with this category is generally categorized as someone who is dramatic, emotional, and easily influenced. This personality disorder makes someone judge his self-esteem depending on what other people say. In addition, this condition also makes individuals have a great desire to be considered.

What is histrionic personality disorder?

A person with a histrionic personality disorder is seen by prioritizing his physical appearance and seductive or provocative behavior to get the attention of others. Someone with the condition does not have a grip and is very easy to be persuaded.

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder may have difficulty achieving emotional intimacy in romantic or sexual relationships.

People with histrionic disorders tend to get bored with their usual routine. This condition makes a person intolerant or frustrated due to delayed gratification. This personality disorder can make a person become depressed and upset when he is not the center of attention.

Although someone with this personality disorder often starts a job with high enthusiasm, his interest in something can quickly decrease.

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorders

In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills. However, they tend to use this skill to manipulate others to make themselves the center of attention. The following are the characteristics of someone who has histrionic disorders, including:

  • Become uncomfortable unless he is the center of attention.
  • Easily provokes or shows seductive behavior.
  • Have a fast emotional shift.
  • Very dramatic with excessive emotions and expressions.
  • Too concerned with physical appearance.
  • Constantly seeking certainty or approval.
  • Easily fooled and easily influenced by others.
  • Sensitive to criticism or disapproval.
  • Has a low tolerance for frustration and is easily bored with routine.
  • Don’t think before you act.
  • Make unclear decisions.
  • Selfish and rarely show concern for others.
  • Having difficulty maintaining relationships.
  • Threatening or attempting suicide to get attention.

When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?

If someone experiences some of the symptoms as above, consultation with a doctor is the right course of action that can be done. If this condition is not treated, it can have a negative impact on your life.

Causes of Histrionic Personality Disorders

The exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is not known with certainty. But many mental health professionals believe that genetic and environmental factors play a role in their development.

Environmental factors may be involved because of the lack of criticism, punishment, positive advice from parents, and excessive attention to children. Histrionic conditions usually develop in temperament individuals and adults who are learning to manage stress.

Whatever the cause, personality disorders usually present themselves in early adulthood.

Diagnosis of Histrionic Personality Disorders

If the symptoms of this personality disorder begin to appear, the doctor will usually do an evaluation by conducting an interview about the medical history and overall psychiatric condition. Physical laboratory tests such as neuroimaging or blood tests may also be recommended to ensure that physical illness does not cause symptoms of this personality disorder.

If the doctor does not find a physical reason for the symptoms, he may refer sufferers to psychiatrists and psychologists. This mental health professional uses interviews and tools specifically designed to evaluate someone with this personality disorder.

Also, be aware that histrionic personality disorders can be distinguished from other personality disorders based on characteristic features:

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Patients with this type of personality disorder also seek attention, but someone with this disorder is not the same as histrionic disorders who want to always want to be admired. Histrionic disturbances are not choosy about types of attention and do not mind if considered funny or ridiculous.

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Patients with this type of personality disorder consider themselves to be bad and experience intense and deep emotions. While someone who has a histrionic personality disorder does not see themselves as a bad person, even though his dependence on other people’s reactions may stem from poor self-esteem.

  • Dependent Personality Disorder

Patients with this type of personality disorder are similar to histrionic personality disorders, which are trying to be near other people but are more anxious, awkward, and easily affected (for fear of rejection). Whereas patients with histrionic personality disorder are less awkward and more flamboyant.

Complications of histrionic personality disorders

This personality disorder can affect social relationships and how a person reacts to loss or failure. People with this disorder are also at higher risk than the general population for suffering from depression.

Treatment of histrionic personality disorders

In general, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe that they need therapy. Someone with this condition also tends to exaggerate feelings and dislike routine, conditions that make it difficult to undergo treatment.

However, someone with this personality disorder only seeks help if he is already depressed. It may be related to loss, a failed relationship, or other problems caused by his own actions

Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is usually the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorders. The goal of treatment is to help the individual increase motivation and overcome the fears associated with his thoughts and behavior. This method also helps sufferers to learn to relate to other people in more positive ways.

Meanwhile, drug use can sometimes be used for other conditions that may be present along with this disorder, such as depression and anxiety.

Prevention of Histrionic Personality Disorders

Although this personality disorder is impossible to prevent, treatments such as counseling can enable people who are susceptible to this disorder to learn more productive ways of dealing with histrionic situations.


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