Symptoms Of Histrionic Personality Disorder

February 5, 2024

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) are known to experience unstable, dramatic emotions. They also have distorted self-images, and rely on the approval of others for their feelings of self-worth. For this reason, they seek to gain attention in inappropriately dramatic ways. More women have this disorder than men, and the symptoms occur during the teen years or by the time the patient is in early adulthood. Also, an individual with histrionic personality disorder has excellent social skills. Unfortunately, these skills are used to bring attention to themselves, sometimes in very negative ways. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a teen or young adult has to display specific symptoms for a year or more.

Uncomfortable When Not The Center Of Attention

Histrionic personality disorder patients need to be the focus of attention at all times. This need is a long-standing one with them. They remain uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention of the individual or group with whom they are socializing. They can be interesting and lively, but become more challenging to deal with when they aren't the center of attention. One of the many ways individuals with histrionic personality disorder may get attention is by being sexually provocative in ways that draw attention to them. They don't always think about whether this behavior is appropriate at the time, nor do they feel concern about the consequences of their actions so long as they receive the attention they seek. A person with this condition can and will go as far as to attempt suicide for attention.

Constantly Seek Reassurance

Because of a constant need for attention, individuals with histrionic personality disorder also constantly seek reassurance from those around them. They may eventually alienate the individuals around them because of their need for constant reassurance and attention. They'll have problems keeping friends of the same gender because their friends won't be able to get any notice due to the patient's sexually provocative behavior and need for attention. Friends can‘t talk about their needs or wants, because it's all about the patient with histrionic personality disorder. They can only act like a victim or a princess. There's nothing in between. Nothing else matters to the point where friends just can't deal with the patient's need for attention and reassurance anymore.

Makes Rash Decisions

A person with histrionic personality disorder experiences excitement at all times. For this reason, they typically hang out with a friend who makes rash decisions, which feeds this excitability. They may also spend time with individuals who look like they are daring and trying new behaviors and activities routinely. The individual with histrionic personality disorder goes so far out of their way to attract attention that they may dress inappropriately for an event or act sexually promiscuous to get attention. Individuals with this condition are also gullible and easily influenced by those around them. These individuals don't always make the best choices in friends, and the friends they choose can lead them astray and cause them harm. They jump from activity to activity and from person to person to get enough attention and thrills. They may use drugs, get in trouble with the law, or threaten to commit suicide to get the attention they think they need.

Difficulty In Maintaining Relationships

As you can imagine, individuals with histrionic personality disorder typically look very self-centered. They are very likable at first because they need to be noticed by others, but eventually, everything revolves around them receiving attention. This incessant need for attention causes jealousy with friends and romantic interests, resulting in a difficulty in maintaining relationships. Plus, the constant need for attention gets old after a while. Friends of histrionic personality disorder patients get tired of the extreme range of emotions with no real feeling behind them. The dramatic scenes displayed by individuals with this condition become beyond endurance, as does their constant demands for attention. Attention needs to be reciprocal. Friends and lovers need to be interested in each other, not in just one person in the relationship. A person with histrionic personality disorder can't give another person the individualized attention they need to keep any relationship going for very long.

Overly Concerned With Physical Appearance

A person with histrionic personality disorder is constantly overly concerned with their physical appearance, which plays a part in the individual's need for constant attention. Because they are seductive and flirtatious, they often wear provocative and revealing clothing. They want to have a body that will drive individuals around them to continually be looking at them and noticing them. Their hair and makeup may also be unusual or unique enough on purpose to draw attention to them. Cosmetic surgery may also be their endless choice to enhance their looks and bring them more notice or comment. Excessive tattoos and piercings can also be a way a histrionic personality disorder patient remains overly concerned with their physical appearance.

MORE FROM HealthPrep