Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

Histrionic Personality Disorder


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    Have you ever wondered why you or a loved one seek out unusual amounts of attention from people? Is it hard to build productive habits or hold meaningful relationships?

    These behaviors can be symptomatic of something called Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). HPD is a personality disorder that affects 2–3% of the general population.

    If you think HPD is affecting you or a family member, don’t wait any longer. Keep reading below to learn what you need to know about the disorder and its available treatment forms.

    HPD Treatment in California

    What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

    HPD is what is called a”Cluster B” or “dramatic” personality disorder. Volatile emotions and warped self-images characterize these disorders. People with HPD specifically are overdependent on the approval of those around them. In other words, self-worth arises from external sources rather than internal.

    As a result, those with HPD will often exhibit dramatic behavior to get attention from people. This can include being overly sexual, seductive, or dressing provocatively. It can also include sudden changes from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. For example, they might switch from being happy to sad in a very sudden manner. HPD has also been shown to affect women more often than men.

    It’s not entirely known what causes HPD. It’s theorized that factors like genetics, learned behavior, and skewed reward systems can all play a part. The development of HPD may also involve sporadic attention and a lack of punishment throughout development. On the individual level, temperament, psychology, and learned coping mechanisms can all affect the onset of HPD as well.

    Signs and Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

    HPD usually shows the first symptom itself in adolescence or early adulthood. This is good news for those who know what they’re looking for and want to start treatment as early as possible. One of the most common signs of HPD is the consistent use of dramatic or manipulative social psychology to get attention. This explains the mental disorder’s name, as “histrionic” means to be overly theatrical. While this behavior can often make people with HPD good in social settings, it lacks any sincerity. For example, people often describe HPD’s personality traits as resembling performance in front of an audience.

    More extensively, people with HPD may show any or all of the following symptoms:

    Uncomfortableness with not being the center of attention

    Provocative dressing

    Seductive or sexual behavior

    Quick changes in emotion

    Exaggerated acting or expressions

    Obsession with physical appearance

    The incessant need for approval

    Issues maintaining meaningful relationships

    Gullible or impressionable

    Dismissive of any criticism or disapproval

    Inability to follow through with tasks or project

    Low tolerance for boredom or frustration

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    Impulsive decision making and behavior

    Naricisistc without much concern for the needs of others

    History of self-harm in an attempt to get attention

    People with HPD also tend to dismiss the need for any treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy. Because they place so much stock in their image in the eyes of others, this makes sense. They believe accepting treatment will drop their value. While this isn’t true, it’s important to understand as an outsider trying to help. It can help with approaching the topic of treatment in the first place.

    In most cases, people with HPD will only begin to consider treatment when they’re negatively affected by their own actions and mood swings. Examples of this might include depression, serious loss (job, interpersonal relationships, status, etc.), or other kinds of serious distress.

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    Diagnosing Histrionic Personality Disorder

    Diagnosing HPD starts with a complete evaluation of medical and psychiatric history by a doctor. If symptoms are found, the next step is to rule out any physical illnesses which could be causing the said symptoms. This process may require neuroimaging studies, blood tests, and other relevant laboratory tests. If illnesses are ruled out, the final step is to visit a mental health professional. This might include a doctor-referred psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed behavioral health professional. This person will then diagnose using specially-designed interview and assessment tools to come to a decision on the psychiatric disorder.

    Beyond HPD, these tools can also help determine the presence of other possible mental disorders.

    If you or someone you know is suffering from histrionic personality disorder, we can help.

    Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

    Treatment for HPD requires coming to understand the motivations and fears behind a person’s behavior and actions. For the most part, this requires a type of counseling called psychotherapy. Speaking with a licensed psychotherapist can help someone with HPD uncover why they need so much exterior attention.

    As a result, they can then learn to relate more positively to others. While psychotherapy leads most HPD treatment, some patients may also require medication. Medication can play a bigger part in treatment when other conditions like depression or anxiety are present.

    The following therapeutic modalities have been effective in treating HPD:

    Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

    CAT consists of three processes: reformulation, recognition, and revision. The therapy is used to identify patterns that lead to self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Cognitive Analytic Therapy helps clients learn to observe their behavior and its effects. It then helps them to practice more adaptive behaviors that don't lead to negative consequences.

    Cognitive therapy (CT)

    Cognitive Therapy helps people with Histrionic Personality Disorder identify the thoughts and feelings behind their desire for approval and attention. It then helps them examine fears of rejection from a relationship or of being unappreciated that may lead to acting out in destructive behavioral patterns.

    Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP)

    Functional analytic psychotherapy is based on the concept that a patient will have similar problematic issues communicating with a therapist that they have when communicating with other people. The therapists identify these "clinically relevant behaviors" during therapy sessions session and reinforces adaptive behavior as opposed to negative behavioral patterns.

    D'Amore Can Help You With Histrionic Personality Disorder

    The symptoms of HPD can often make it hard to accept treatment, let alone approach it in the first place. This is true whether you’re a concerned family member or as someone dealing with the condition yourself.

    As a Joint Commission-accredited psychiatric facility in sunny Orange County, California, we know treatment. Our experienced health professionals specialize in offering personalized treatment to the patient.

    As a patient of D’Amore, you can expect a truly unique, shame-free environment filled with people who want to see you succeed. We provide a three-to-one staff-to-patient ratio, 24/7 individualized care, chef-inspired meals, and so much more. Plus, we work with common in- and out-of-network PPO insurance plans. This means you may be able to cover the complete cost of your treatment through your insurance alone.

    Don't Wait Any Longer to Contact D'Amore

    Don’t let HPD control your life or the life of a loved one any longer. Armed with the information above, you can make better decisions surrounding the identification, diagnosis, and ultimate treatment of the condition.

    If you think you or someone you love suffers from Histrionic Personality Disorder, don’t wait any longer. Start your path to treatment by getting in touch today.

    Histrionic Personality Disorder FAQs

    Known as dramatic personality disorder or histrionic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder is characterized by an exaggerated sense of emotion and attention-seeking behavior.

    Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by seeking attention, expressing strong opinions, being easily influenced, having rapidly changing emotions, and believing relationships are closer than they are.

    In general, psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is the treatment of choice for histrionic disorders or other personality disorders. People who receive treatment learn to relate to others more positively by uncovering their motivations and fears related to their thoughts and behavior.

    Being rewarded for attention seeking behavior as a child causes histrionic personality disorder. There is a family history of personality disorders, anxiety, or depression. The child learns behaviors from a parent or caregiver with histrionic personality disorder. The child is not criticized or punished.

    You can better understand why your partner or family member behaves the way they do if you learn more about histrionic personality disorder. This can help you avoid taking their dramatic antics personally. People with histrionic personality disorder may be unaware that they are suffering from a disorder. However, they may be willing to undergo marital therapy if they feel that it will help you. It may be possible to discuss your loved one’s troubling behaviors with a therapist in a safe space.

    A personality disorder, including histrionic personality disorder, can be difficult to diagnose since many people don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. There must be five (or more) persistent behaviors to be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder: Uncomfortable when not in the spotlight, Seductive or provocative behavior, Shifting and shallow emotions, Uses appearance as a means of drawing attention, Impressionistic and vague speech. Dramatic or exaggerated emotions. Suggestions (easy to influence). Thinks relationships are more intimate than they really are.

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    Clinically Reviewed By:

    Jamie Mantell, PsyD, LMFT

    Jamie Mantell, PsyD, LMFT

    Jamie Mantel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a Psy.D. in psychology. Jamie has worked for non-profits for over 20 years working with agencies, as well as her private practice in Huntington Beach, California.