Atlanta Psychologists

Histrionic Personality Disorder

 

Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called "dramatic personality disorders." People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and distorted self-images. For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and does not arise from a true feeling of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention. The word histrionic means "dramatic or theatrical."  This disorder is more common in women than in men and usually is evident by early adulthood. In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills; however, they tend to use these skills to manipulate others so that they can be the center of attention.

A person with this disorder might also:

 

While the exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is not known, many mental health professionals believe that both learned and inherited factors play a role in its development. Among the environmental factors that might be involved are a lack of criticism or punishment as a child, positive reinforcement that is given only when a child completes certain approved behaviors, and unpredictable attention given to a child by his or her parent(s), all leading to confusion about what types of behavior earn parental approval.

Histrionic personality disorder can affect a personís social or romantic relationships and how a person reacts to losses or failures. People with this disorder are also at higher risk than the general population to suffer from depression.  Many people with this disorder are able to function well socially and at work. Those with severe cases, however, might experience significant problems in their daily lives.


 

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