Histrionic Personality Disorder is a disorder where the individual affected expresses emotional overreaction, excessive need for approval, excessive seductive behavior and constant attention seeking behavior. People experiencing this disorder crave attention in various forms, they are often uncomfortable and feel devalued if they are not the focal point in any situation. Initially, individuals suffering from HPD can seem very charming. They woo others with their physical appearance, enthusiasm, and flirtatiousness. Women are more likely to suffer from HPD than men.
Some other common traits of those with Histrionic Personality Disorder are:
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
- Being easily influenced
- Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
- Blaming others for failure and disappointment
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval
- Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
- Overly concerned with physical appearance
HPD can negatively affect social and romantic relationships in many ways. The individual’s altered perception of relationships and inability to deal with disappointment constructively puts them at greater risk of developing clinical depression. Unlike some other Personality Disorders, it isn't uncommon to see a person with HPD in therapy. They often come to seek help for depression they feel after a relationship is over or to vent about feelings of being wronged. Extended therapy in which cognitive behavioral techniques are employed has shown to help people with HPD.
Being involved in any capacity with someone suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder can be challenging but the therapists here at Philadelphia MFT are trained in working with Personality Disorders and may be able to assist. We also encourage partners, friends and loved ones of individuals with HPD to seek out therapy in order to help them manage and cope with these relationships. If you or someone you know has any involvement with Histrionic Personality Disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the therapists here at Philadelphia MFT.
Other Resources: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx17.htm
This topic of the week was written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT