Histrionic Personality Disorder: Symptoms And Treatment – Forbes Health – Forbes

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People with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) can sometimes be labeled “dramatic, ” as they can be prone to exaggerated displays of emotion. But beneath the perceived theatrics of this mental health condition is a deep need for attention and the validation of others.

Here’s what you need to know about HPD, including signs and symptoms, risk factors and available treatments.

What Is Histrionic Personality Problem?

Histrionic personality disorder, sometimes called dramatic character disorder, is a mental health condition that is thought to affect around 2% of the general population. People with HPD can act highly emotional and tend to exhibit persistent attention-seeking behavior, such as dressing or acting seductive in inappropriate settings, even with people they have no romantic interest in.

Often tagged as flirtatious, manipulative, lively and impulsive, individuals along with HPD may be vulnerable to outside influence and dependent upon others for constant validation.

Signs and Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Condition

Individuals with HPD may be triggered by feelings of rejection, competition or exclusion, says Sam Zand, D. O., a clinical psychiatrist in Las Vegas and the particular chief medical officer plus co-founder associated with Better U. Patients may also react to simply not being the center of attention, he adds.

Common signs or symptoms associated with HPD include the following:

  • Highly emotional and volatile behavior
  • A need to be the center of attention
  • A requirement for constant affirmation from others
  • Shallow-seeming emotions that change quickly
  • Inappropriately seductive conduct or dress
  • Easily influenced
  • Preoccupied with their appearance
  • Inability to delay gratification
  • Strong reactions to criticism
  • Penchant for blaming failures on others

HPD shares similar symptoms with other personality disorders, like narcissistic personality problem (NPD), borderline personality condition (BPD) plus dependent personality disorder (DPD) . While only a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist with expertise in treating character disorders can make the proper diagnosis, there are key ways to distinguish HPD from similar conditions.

  • Attention-seeking habits is a symptom of both HPD and NPD, with the difference being that people with NPD seek interest that results in adulation, whereas those with HPD simply need attention, whether good or bad.
  • Intense emotions can be a symptom of both HPD and BPD. With BPD, strong feelings result from an individual’s feelings of inadequacy and failure. Individuals with HPD do not share these negative feelings regarding themselves.
  • Dependency will be an issue with both HPD and DPD. However, people with DPD are often timid plus anxious in their dependency, whereas those with HPD are described as dramatic and uninhibited in theirs.

Causes of Histrionic Personality Disorder

Symptoms of HPD usually develop in childhood, though they can worsen in adulthood, says Dr. Zand. “Children often have unstable emotions, a distorted self-image and often an overwhelming desire to be noticed, ” this individual says. “But when there is a lack of inherent love or a good enabling associated with bad behaviors growing up, we often lack the security and maturity in order to overcome these attention-seeking actions. ”

Whilst there is no singular cause of HPD, a combination of genetic and environmental factors might be at play. The following issues may contribute to an HPD diagnosis:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Family history of psychiatric illness or substance abuse problems
  • Growing upward with caregivers who are inconsistent, dramatic or even have trouble with boundaries

Women are significantly more likely in order to be diagnosed with HPD. However , research suggests the disorder may be underreported inside men, as the hyper-seductive nature characteristic to HPD is deemed more socially acceptable in men.

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Diagnosis

Only a psychological health supplier, such while a psychiatrist or psychiatrist, can diagnose a personality disorder—though a general practitioner might refer individuals to mental health services.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual associated with Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which is the standard for psychiatric evaluation, people must display persistent attention-seeking behaviors and exhibit five or more of the following symptoms on a consistent basis in order to be identified as having HPD:

  • Needing to be the center associated with attention
  • Wrongly seductive behaviour
  • Emotional lability and shallowness
  • Reliance on personal appearance to garner attention
  • Speech that lacks detail plus substance
  • Theatrical, dramatic shows of feelings
  • Highly suggestible nature
  • Misreads the intimacy level of relationships

How to Treat Histrionic Personality Disorder

“If [HPD] is left untreated, it can affect our relationships, self-confidence, ability in order to thrive within social settings and our own ability to bring awareness to our strengths, weaknesses and growth opportunities, ” states Dr. Zand. An individual with untreated HPD may also create an addiction to deal along with their signs and symptoms, he adds.

While presently there isn’t much research upon the efficacy of remedies for HPD, and the particular disorder might be difficult to treat in some individuals, a few options that currently show promise consist of:

  • Individual psychotherapy, for example cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or internal family systems (also known as parts therapy, says Dr . Zand).
  • Medications in tandem with psychotherapy. These include antidepressants plus monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are drugs that are often used when more traditional medication does not seem to become working.
  • Psychodynamic therapy, which emphasizes self-reflection and examination, and uses the patient-therapist relationship as a tool to increase self-awareness.
  • Ketamine therapy may also end up being used, Doctor Zand notes, as a way in order to “reset the hardwired patterns emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally. ”

While HPD is a lifelong condition, many people find proper treatment improves their symptoms. If you believe you or a loved one might be showing signs of HPD, contact the mental wellness provider with regard to guidance. A person might also consider speaking with your primary care physician for a referral regarding diagnosis.

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