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What is histrionic personality disorder?

Grecia De Flores
4 min read

Histrionic personality disorder is a psychological condition whose effects are focused on the personality of the people who suffer from it and its symptoms appear around the end of adolescence or young adulthood.

One of its main characteristics are sudden emotional changes that overshadow the social behavior of these people.

They tend to strive to be the center of attention in all the social circumstances in which they find themselves because they express themselves in a very theatrical and exaggerated way.

They enjoy being the center of attention, attracting the attention of others in public spaces, and being seductive in their social interactions.

Although the description of this may not sound so serious, people with histrionic personality disorder are prone to many problems in their life due to these exposure behaviors.

They can feel very distressed about their seductive acts and generally do not enjoy the sexual relations derived from them.

What is histrionic personality disorder? – Wellness and Health – WebMediums
Histrionic personality disorder

What are the causes of Histrionic Personality Disorder?

The reason why histrionic personality disorder develops is not totally clear, however it is suspected that it is a mixture between biological and environmental factors.

Roughly, the personality is formed by three important factors, the genetic characteristics that endow people with those characteristics inherited through the genetic code of their relatives.

The environmental conditions that surround the development of the person during their first years of life and the way in which they learn to interact with their environment and others.

So the scientists deduce that to generate this disorder it must have one or more of those characteristics that make up the affected personality.

Psychoanalytic theory supports the fact that in the first years of life there was some deficiency, excess or trauma that fixed the personality in a pathological point and the behaviors that these people express as a whole of the symptoms they present are the reflection of said fixation pathological.

Main symptoms

  • They dress provocatively

  • They are easily influenced

  • Excessive concern about your physique

  • They are extremely dramatic and theatrical

  • Hypersensitive to criticism

  • Has the belief that their interpersonal relationships are more intimate than they really are

  • Tends to hold others responsible for their mistakes

  • They are in constant search of external approval

  • Has a low tolerance for frustration

  • Egocentric

  • They should be the center of attention wherever they go

  • Their emotions invade them very easily

Histrionic personality disorder is generally diagnosed more in women than in men, so it is believed to affect women more.

Generally, people who suffer from it are not capable of realizing the exaggeration of their behavior, so they resort little to psychological consultation, making the process of being diagnosed difficult.

This disorder has comorbidity with anxiety and depression, these being the main reasons why people with histrionic personality disorder go to the consultation.

Often the diagnosis derives from a series of sessions, interviews and the application of projective instruments to identify personality disorders.

How is this disorder treated?

In general, this disorder responds to the treatment of psychosomatic therapy that seeks to explore those events in childhood that gave rise to the pathology.

Psychoanalytic therapy explores, based on the patient's free association, those events in the patient's life history that may be the central traumas in histrionic personality disorder.

This approach focuses on the individuality of each person and if appropriate, so the specific treatment will depend on the specific conditions of both the people and the severity in which the disorder occurs.

The milder the disorder, the better prognosis it has, since people with higher levels tend not to recognize their behaviors as problematic at all and are reluctant to face therapeutic intervention, making the process difficult.

Generally, this type of therapy requires a large amount of time to reach the origin of the problem, however the speed with which each person recovers will depend precisely on their individual and contextual characteristics.

On occasions, as we mentioned earlier, this disorder occurs together with others and when this is the case, it is likely that within the treatment, pharmacological medications should be prescribed.