Histrionic personality disorder is a psychological illness that is characterized by deeply embedded patterns of attention-seeking behavior and emotions.
With histrionic personality disorder, an individual tends to be extremely concerned with attracting the attention of others. As a result, that person might dress and behave in ways to draw attention to themselves. A person with histrionic personality disorder draws their sense of self-worth through the attention and approval of others.
A personality disorder is considered to be a mental illness in which there are long-lasting unhealthy behaviors, thought patterns, and inner experiences, which seem to hold true across many areas of a person’s life and are not usually well accepted in the culture. These patterns are typically unchanging or inflexible, bringing about significant distress in life.
Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms
Common symptoms and attributes that those with Histrionic Personality Disorder display include:
- Irritability and sensitivity when not noticed by others
- Obsessive about any flaws in their appearance
- Discomfort in situations in which a person is not the center of attention
- Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior in the interaction with others
- Shifting and shallow expression of emotions
- Uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
- Inability to handle disapproval from others
- Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic
- Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.
- Is easily influenced by others or by certain circumstances.
- Considers relationships to be more intimate than they are.
- Extremely emotional about their appearance
- Tendency toward impulsive, risky behaviors, in efforts to gain approval and attention from others
Because individuals with the histrionic personality disorder are so insistent upon the approval of others, this often leads to conflict and tension within their interpersonal relationships.
Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment
Histrionic Personality Disorder treatment involves using a variety of forms of psychotherapy. Typically, medication is not necessary, unless there are symptoms of anxiety or depression, or if there are co-occurring disorders, which require medication. Successful forms of therapy treatment include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). These therapeutic methods can help to address the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects associated with the illness. These therapies can also help an individual identify underlying false beliefs and/or patterns of attention-seeking related to self-image, low-self worth, and low-self confidence. Once these underlying insecurities are addressed, an individual with OCD can then work on changing their behaviors towards those that are healthy, life affirming, and self-loving. Therapy might also explore the difference between the natural, human need for acknowledgment and appreciation by others, versus a person’s obsessive need for attention that becomes the basis of one’s decision-making. Those who look outward for approval might engage in risky behavior and more easily put themselves in harm’s way for attention. This pattern might be addressed in therapy to ensure one’s safety and well being. Individuals dealing with Histrionic Personality Disorder may benefit from an Intensive Outpatient program, which can combine these various therapy programs, along with life coaching, yoga and meditation, and a full-day group schedule.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a Histrionic Personality Disorder, contact a mental health provider for assistance.
For more information on Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment at Vantage Point please contact us 7 days a week at (805) 777-7595.