Histrionic Personality Disorder

What Is It?

People with Histrionic personality disorders, also known as ‘Cluster B’ or ‘dramatic’ ,have intense, unstable emotions, and their self-esteem depends on the approval of peers and does not arise from a true realization of self-worth. They have a particular desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention. This disorder is more commonly found in women than in men and is usually identified by teenage years or early adulthood.


Symptoms

  • Act very dramatically, as if performing before an audience, with exaggerated emotions and expressions, yet appears to lack sincerity

  • Constantly seek reassurance or approval

  • Be easily influenced by others

  • Be excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval

  • Have a low tolerance for frustration and be easily bored by routine

  • Be self-centered and rarely show concern for others

  • Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention





Causes

It is believed that both learned and inherited factors play a role in its development. For example, the tendency for histrionic personality disorder to run in families suggests that a genetic code for the disorder might be inherited. However, the child of a parent with this disorder might simply be repeating learned behavior. Other environmental factors that might be involved include a lack of criticism or punishment as a child.


Treatments

Psychotherapy also known as counselling, is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. It helps individuals uncover the motive behind one’s behavior, and to help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive way.


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