A GUIDE ON HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER:
This is a compilation of information on the topic of Histrionic Personality Disorder. Most of what is in this guide is taken from the internet and comes from various websites, but also has some inputs from myself. Please note that the characteristics for each person varies from case to case.
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American PsychiatricAssociation as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriately seductive behavior, usually beginning in early adulthood. These individuals are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious.
HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders. People with HPD have a high need for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviors and emotions, and crave stimulation. They may exhibit sexually provocative behavior, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.
A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
Individuals with this disorder may have difficulty achieving emotional intimacy in romantic relationships. Without being aware of it, they often act out a role (e.g., “victim” or “princess”). They may seek to control their partner through emotional manipulation or seductiveness on one level, whereas displaying a marked dependency on them at another level. Individuals with this disorder often have impaired relationships with same-sex friends because of their sexually provocative behavior or their demands for constant attention. They crave novelty, stimulation, and excitement and have a tendency to become bored with their usual routine. Although they often initiate a job or project with great enthusiasm, their interest may lag quickly. The actual risk of suicide is not known, but individuals with this disorder are at increased risk for suicidal gestures and threats to get attention and coerce better care giving.
People with HPD tend to be all about themselves. They like the attention on them, and tend to get angry and grab for attention when the spotlight isn’t on them. They are flirtatious, but easily believe that relationships are more intimate than they really are. They easily confuse flirty banter with someone as though the person is in love with them to also feed their ego. They think people love them, they think that other people do something because they did it first—believing they are ‘trend-setters’ and yet, being angry if anyone ever did follow their trend because in a way, someone would be stealing their spotlight. They thrive off compliments, and would often call themselves ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ just so people would compliment them or give them attention, and they often stick close to people who they know suck up to them.
People with HPD tend to be shallow, and they either act out provocatively with their partners, or show over-dependence, or in some cases, even both. If someone calls them out for something they do wrong, they backlash and make a huge scene out of it.
A mnemonic that can be used to remember the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder is “PRAISE ME”.