April 29, 2023

Histrionic Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Impact, and Treatment

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) is a personality disorder that affects an estimated 1.84% of the general population [1]. Individuals with HPD often display excessive emotionality […]

By Annie Wright|Trauma
Histrionic Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) is a personality disorder that affects an estimated 1.84% of the general population [1]. Individuals with HPD often display excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior in social situations. These behaviors can negatively impact their quality of life and relationships with others. However, effective treatment options are available to help those with HPD manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the diagnostic criteria for HPD. To receive a diagnosis of HPD, an individual must display five or more of the following symptoms [2]:

  • A need to be the center of attention
  • Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • Rapidly shifting and shallow emotions
  • Uses physical appearance to draw attention to themselves
  • Uses a dramatic style of speech to draw attention to themselves
  • Easily influenced by others or situations
  • Believes relationships are more intimate than they actually are
  • Experiences dramatic, exaggerated emotional expressions
  • Perceives relationships to be closer than they actually are

The Impact of Histrionic Personality Disorder

Individuals with HPD may experience difficulty maintaining close relationships and social isolation [3]. They may also experience difficulties in the workplace or educational settings, as their behavior can be disruptive to others. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and a decreased quality of life. Furthermore, HPD is associated with an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns [4].

Effective Treatments for Histrionic Personality Disorder

Fortunately, effective treatments are available for HPD. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the primary treatment option for HPD [5]. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, has been found to be effective in treating HPD [6]. In addition, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which emphasizes emotional regulation and mindfulness, has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of HPD [7].

Seeking Help for Histrionic Personality Disorder

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of HPD, it’s important to seek professional help. With effective treatment, individuals with HPD can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. At Evergreen Counseling, our experienced therapists can help you or your loved one learn strategies to manage HPD symptoms and improve relationships. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

References:

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  2. Skodol, A. E. (2012). Personality disorders in DSM-5. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 8, 317-344. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032511-143129
  3. American Psychological Association. (2020). Personality disorders. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/personality-disorders
  4. Paris, J. (2012). Histrionic personality disorder: A review of available data and implications for DSM-5. Journal of Personality Disorders, 26(4), 556-570. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2012.26.4.556
  5. Karterud, S., Pedersen, G., Løvdal, H., Friis, S., & Vøllestad, J. (2017). Personality functioning in patients with avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, and histrionic personality disorder before and after psychotherapy. Journal of Personality Disorders, 31(2), 161-176. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2016_30_277
  6. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Psychotherapies. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml

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