According to psychology, a histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a legitimate mental condition in which people have an uncontrollable impulse to act in an overly dramatic way to draw attention to themselves. A distinction should be made between this and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). In NPD, the afflicted individual has an inflated sense of self-importance and disregards others’ feelings, because they are too preoccupied with themselves.
A person with HPD feels an overwhelming sense of discomfort when they are not the center of attention, especially in a gathering of several people. This is the reason why they do everything they can to draw attention, they might be dressed in over-the-top outfits or provocatively. You will also observe that the tier manner of talking is often lively, loud, and dramatic. They always add flair to their stories and they are not shy about exaggerating. To most of their family and peers, they are perceived as superficial.
Challenges Of Someone With Histrionic Personality Disorder
It is difficult for persons with histrionic personalities to find love or even achieve emotional intimacy because their behaviour can be quite toxic and their partner might feel smothered. In romantic relationships, these individuals often play the victim and can easily manipulate their significant others, guilting them into staying.
In turn, their sexual provocativeness also poses a threat to their circle of friends, because of their impulsiveness. The constant attention-seeking behaviour may also be exhausting to put up with. When relationships (romantic or otherwise) end, persons with histrionic personalities do not have insight into the role they played and the eventual isolation leads to depression.
These patterns of behaviour, coupled with their mundane routine, drive the person with histrionic PD to seek out a source of thrill and something to stimulate them. This is why they dive head-first into new relationships, projects, or activities with great verve, yet they rarely finish what they’ve started as their interest diminishes rapidly.
Recognizing The Symptoms Of Histrionic Personality Disorder
People with histrionic personality disorder in many cases have excellent social skills; however, they prefer to use certain skills to exploit others so they can be the object of attention. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition), individuals with histrionic personality disorder have at least five (or more) of the following characteristics:
Possible Causes Of Histrionic Personality Disorder
Not a single factor has been implicated in the development of histrionic personality disorder, however, experts suggest that it can be attributed to genetic, social, environmental, physiological factors. An interplay of all these complex components is currently the leading hypothesis for Histrionic PD.
HPD occurs more commonly in women than in men, although some researchers suggest that it is actually diagnosed more often in women because care-seeking and sexual aggressiveness are less socially acceptable to women than men. Individuals with this condition typically have the ability to work at a high level and can perform well in social and job settings.
When their romantic relationships end they usually seek treatment for depression. They also struggle to look objectively at their own situation, instead preferring to overdramatize and exaggerate. Those with the condition usually blame others instead of taking responsibility or accountability for their actions.
Range Of Treatments For HPD
Most people with this disorder do not believe that they need psychiatric help. When they do seek treatment, it is for other associated problems such as depression. The Arden Centre understands this all too well. Our warm and compassionate staff seeks to improve the quality of life for people who are dealing with drug use or mental health problems such as HPD.
If you are or a loved one has HPD or a co-occurring disorder treatment, The Arden Centre can definitely offer compassionate support in a relaxing environment that encourages mental balance and recovery. Contact us and a competent staff will get in touch with you shortly.
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