Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

Histrionic personality disorder is characterised by a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.

  • Individuals with histrionic personality disorder continually demand to be the centre of attention and often try to do so by dressing and acting in inappropriately seductive and provocative ways and by expressing themselves very dramatically.
  • Medical professionals diagnose histrionic personality disorder based on specific symptoms, including discomfort due to not being the centre of attention, inappropriately seductive or provocative interaction with others, and dramatic behaviour and expression of emotion.
  • Psychotherapy that focuses on underlying conflicts may help.

Personality disorders are long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause an individual significant distress and/or impair an individual’s ability to function.

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder use their physical appearance and act in inappropriately seductive or provocative ways to gain the attention of others.

They often behave in submissive ways to retain the attention of others.

Histrionic personality disorder occurs in about almost 2% of the general population in the United States.

It is diagnosed more often in women, but some studies suggest it affects men and women equally.

Other disorders are also often present. They include one or more of the following:

  • Other personality disorders, for example antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic).
  • Somatic symptom disorder, which may be the reason they see a medical professional.
  • Major depressive disorder or dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder).
  • Conversion disorder.

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