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The American Psychiatric Association defines histrionic personality disorder (HPD) as a personality disorder that is identified by a series of excessive attention-seeking actions and behaviors, which typically begin in early childhood and include improper seduction and an obsessive need for approval. People with the disease are described as being animated, dramatic, energetic, enthusiastic, outgoing, and flirty.

HPD is part of a large group of personality disorders. People with HPD have a strong craving for attention, dress loudly and inappropriately, exaggerate their feelings and reactions, and seek excitement. They may engage in sexually suggestive conduct, express powerful emotions in an impressionistic manner, and are readily swayed. Self-assuredness, self-indulgence, a constant desire for approval, and relentless controlling behavior to achieve their own goals are all associated characteristics.

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) often have strong social skills, but they utilize them to deceive, manipulate or influence others so that they can be the focus of attention.

A person suffering from this condition may also:

  • Be uneasy unless they are the focus of attention.
  • Dress suggestively and/or act seductively or flirtatiously in an unacceptable manner
  • Feelings and emotions shift quickly.
  • Act theatrically, as if acting in front of a crowd, with heightened emotions and gestures, but without sincerity.
  • Be too preoccupied with one’s personal appearance
  • Seek reassurance or approbation on a regular basis.
  • Be readily swayed by others and naive.
  • Be overly receptive to judgment or rejection.
  • Have a limited tolerance for irritation and become easily bored by routine, frequently starting tasks but never completing them or moving from one event to the next.
  • Not thinking before action
  • Make hasty choices
  • Be egotistical and show no regard for others.
  • Have a hard time building relationship and come across as phony or superficial in their interactions with others.
  • To garner attention, warn or try suicide.

Although the exact causation of histrionic personality disorder is unknown, it is believed to be the result of a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Your genes may predispose you to develop a personality disorder, and a life event may precipitate the disorder’s emergence.

  • Genes: Your parents may carry on some of these personality traits to you through genetic inheritance; these characteristics are sometimes inherited through your grandparents.
  • Environment: Your environment is made up of the places you grew up, the events that transpired, and your interactions with family and others.

Other factors that have been related to a higher likelihood of acquiring or causing personality disorders are:

  • Conflicting or overly permissive boundaries are a common parenting style.
  • Parents that exhibit dramatic or erratic conduct are setting a bad example for their children.
  • Psychiatric illnesses, substance abuse, or personality difficulties run in the family
  • Childhood adversity

Histrionic personality disorder can be identified and diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) guidelines provided by the American Psychiatric Association.

  • When a person’s urge to be the focus of attention is unfulfilled, they feel distressed.
  • Interpersonal problems are usually caused by inappropriate sexual innuendo or other provocative behavior.
  • Rapid fluctuations in emotion are common, however, feelings are generally shallow and lack complexity.
  • To attract attention, people’s physical appearances are frequently meticulously created.
  • The conversational style of a person is impressionistic, self-centered, and devoid of descriptive detail.
  • Exaggerated emotional responses are common in interpersonal interactions.
  • The individual is easily persuaded by others and is very suggestible.
  • Individual has a tendency to misread others’ sentiments and intentions, leading them to believe their connections are more intimate than they are.

Before an official diagnosis of HPD can be made, at least five of these eight symptoms must be identified.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is characterized by unstable emotions and a skewed self-image. Their self-esteem is based on other people’s acceptance. They frequently engage in dramatic behavior in order to attract attention. 

The first-line treatment option for histrionic personality disorder is psychotherapy. Medications are often recommended to deal alleviate debilitating symptoms such as sadness and anxiety. Individuals with this personality condition frequently believe that nothing is wrong with them. As a result, recognizing that you will need help is the first stage toward making progress.

Prescription Drugs

To cope with the mood changes, anxiety, anger, and despair that accompany this mental health problem, your doctor may give mood stabilizers, antidepressants, or antipsychotic drugs.

The following medications could be used to address histrionic personality disorder:

  • Antidepressants: These medications can help with anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, self-harm, impulsivity, and emotional instability. Fluoxetine, desipramine, amitriptyline, and fluvoxamine are among the examples.
  • Mood stabilizers: Such as lamotrigine, carbamazepine, topiramate, valproate, and lithium, can help with impulse control and emotional instability (rapid, excessive changes in mood).
  • Antipsychotic medications: These can be used to treat emotional problems (emotional reactions that are extremely intense). Risperidone, aripiprazole, olanzapine, and haloperidol are other examples.


The most effective treatment for histrionic personality disorder is psychotherapy, sometimes known as talk therapy. Treatment aims to help you discover and become more aware of what it means and concerns behind your problematic beliefs and behaviors, as well as to teach you how to relate to others in more positive ways.

Supportive Therapy

Because supportive therapy is encouraging, reassuring, and nonthreatening, it is frequently prescribed for patients with a histrionic personality disorder.

Through careful and sympathetic listening, this style of psychotherapy can help you minimize emotional suffering, improve self-esteem, and develop coping abilities.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Histrionic personality disorder has indeed been reported to respond well to psychodynamic therapy.

The goal is to assist you in resolving underlying, psychological problems so that you can have a greater understanding of yourself and your actions.

To improve communication with others, you may be urged to replace overly emotional speech with a more adaptable action or behavior. You’ll also learn to recognize when hypersexual, attention-seeking habits aren’t helping you build self-esteem, and you’ll discover other, healthy methods to do so.

Alternative Methods of Treatment

You and your medical professionals can talk about which alternative treatments might work for your problems.

Alternative treatments for depressive symptoms, for example, can include:

  • The herbal treatment Saint-John’s-wort is sometimes used to cure depression.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in some plants and fish such as salmon and tuna, are essential for brain health.
  • SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a natural molecule produced in the body that aids in the manufacture of neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, which help control hormones.
  • Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate (a B complex vitamin) that aids in the formation of genetic material and may improve the efficacy of antidepressants in some people.
  • 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which might also aid in the rise of neurotransmitters linked to mood modulation, such as serotonin.

Because supplements can have adverse effects and interact with prescriptions or other supplements you’re taking, you should see your doctor before starting any new alternative treatments.

When dealing with histrionic personality disorder, it is suggested that you make lifestyle modifications that will benefit your overall health. This encompasses the fundamentals of self-care, such as:

  • Creating a regular and healthy sleeping and eating pattern
  • Exercising on a daily basis is essential.
  • Keeping a healthy weight is important.
  • Abstaining from drugs and alcohol
  • To stay on track, enlist the aid of trusted friends and family.

Because histrionic personality disorder is linked to a low feeling of self-worth, using measures to help you develop a healthy sense of self-worth may be beneficial. These may include the following:

  • Challenge any negative self-perceptions you may have.
  • Reassuring yourself of your positive attributes is a good way to start.
  • Having people around you tell you what positive traits they think you have is a fantastic way to start.
  • Spending less time with individuals who make you feel terrible and more time with individuals who make you feel good
  • Being easy on yourself is something you should practice.
  • Developing the ability to say no to others
  • Taking on additional challenges and achieving your objectives might make you feel better about yourself.



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