Histrionic Personality Disorder

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental health condition marked by unstable emotions, a distorted self-image and an overwhelming desire to be noticed. People with HPD often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention.

The word “histrionic” means “dramatic or theatrical.”

For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and doesn’t come from a true feeling of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention.

People with histrionic personality disorder often don’t realize their behavior and way of thinking may be problematic.

Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called “Cluster B” personality disorders, which involve dramatic and erratic behavior.

Who does histrionic personality disorder affect?

Histrionic personality disorder usually begins in your late teens or early 20s.

Women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) are more commonly diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder than men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB), but researchers think that men and people AMAB may be underdiagnosed.

How common is histrionic personality disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder is relatively rare. Researchers estimate that about 1% of people have the condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of histrionic personality disorder?

The main feature of histrionic personality disorder is displaying excessive, superficial emotionality and sexuality to draw attention to themselves.

A person with histrionic personality disorder may:

  • Feel underappreciated or depressed when they’re not the center of attention.
  • Have rapidly shifting and shallow emotions.
  • Be dramatic and extremely emotionally expressive, even to the point of embarrassing friends and family in public.
  • Have a “larger than life” presence.
  • Be persistently charming and flirtatious.
  • Be overly concerned with their physical appearance.
  • Use their physical appearance to draw attention to themselves by wearing bright-colored clothing or revealing clothing.
  • Act inappropriately sexual with most of the people they meet, even when they’re not sexually attracted to them.
  • Speak dramatically and express strong opinions but with few facts or details to support their opinions.
  • Be gullible and easily influenced by others, especially by the people they admire.
  • Think that their relationships with others are closer than they usually are.
  • Have difficulty maintaining relationships, often seeming fake or shallow in their interactions with others.
  • Need instant gratification and become bored or frustrated very easily.
  • Constantly seek reassurance or approval.

What causes histrionic personality disorder?   more

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