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Histrionic Personality Disorder and Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

If you suffer from a personality disorder, you might already know that the symptoms of this illness may be ongoing and persistent. They may not change with treatment and you might have to find ways to cope with the difficulties you experience. Sadly, some men and women with histrionic personality disorder may choose to cope with alcohol and drugs. However, as you can imagine, this can only make matters worse. If you’ve been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, this article will provide coping tools to use that are healthy and supportive.

A personality disorder is a mental illness that includes symptoms so woven into one’s being that it may be difficult to change them. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a person may be given a diagnosis of a personality disorder if there are impairments in the way that one functions in life and in relationships. There are may also be significant pathological personality traits that make it difficult for a person to relate to themselves and others. Furthermore, personality disorders have symptoms that are stable over time and consistent regardless of the circumstances.

There are 10 different types of personality disorders, varying depending upon the focus of one’s symptoms. Typically, someone with histrionic personality disorder maintains a low sense of self worth. They tend to depend upon others for attention and approval. In fact, those with this disorder might be overly dramatic, play a certain role in order to be seen and heard by others, and they might cause a scene in public just to attract attention. The word histrionic comes from the Latin word histrionicus,  which means pertaining to the actor. Those with histrionic personality disorder might give great importance to their style of dress and hairstyle. They might behave excessively charming or even seductive to seek the attention they need.

As you can begin to imagine, someone with histrionic personality disorder symptoms might be overly dramatic in relationships and may even consider some relationships to be more intimate than they are. They may be inappropriately provocative in their behavior or have a style of speech that is overly dramatic. You might begin to see that those with this illness crave excitement. They may act impulsively, putting themselves at risk from time to time.

However, because of their need for approval and attention from others, they are easily prone to rejection. They are sensitive to criticism and may react in a dramatic way when faced with loss or tragedy. In fact, some experts of this illness claim that the more someone with the illness experiences rejection, the more they are histrionic. This can create a damaging and self-perpetuating cycle.

Because of these symptoms, including the inability to maintain healthy and intimate relationships, a person with histrionic personality disorder may turn to drugs and alcohol, and slowly develop an addiction. However, treatment may assist a person in managing their symptoms in a healthy way. Although many symptoms might persist, as mentioned above, a person’s awareness of them through therapy as well as the use of coping tools when feeling rejected can slowly ease the many discomforts of histrionic personality disorder.

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