The word histrionic means dramatic or theatrical, and thats exactly what characterizes a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder. Histrionic Personality Disorder is a condition that affects about two to three-percent of the United States population, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and generally begins in early adulthood. People with this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and can be successful socially and at work. As its name suggests, Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by dramatic or inappropriate behavior, which stems from an overwhelming desire to be noticed. In fact, people with this condition are often uncomfortable in situations in which they are NOT the center of attention. For people with Histrionic Personality Disorder, feelings of self-esteem arise from the approval and attention of others, and NOT from a real feeling of self-worth. As such, histrionic Personality Disorder is often characterized by inappropriately seductive or provocative behavior, and may cause a person to consistently rely on physical appearance to garner attention. A low tolerance for frustration and delayed gratification are also common markers of this personality disorder. People with Histrionic Personality Disorder are often extremely gullible and open to suggestion from others, and often are overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, as they are constantly seeking reassurance or approval. Often believing that relationships are more intimate and close than they ACTUALLY are, this disorder is often characterized by multiple relationship failures, which can lead to depression. These failures and disappointments, in keeping with the way a person with this disorder processes emotional information, are often blamed on others. In extreme cases, a person with the condition may even threaten or attempt suicide as a ploy to get attention. While no one knows for SURE what causes this set of behaviors, it is known that it occurs more often in women than in men, although it may be more often diagnosed in women because attention-seeking and sexual forwardness are less socially acceptable for women. But it is difficult to say whether this is because the condition is INHERITED or because children tend to repeat behavior LEARNED from their parents. Whatever the case, a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder does not usually believe that he or she has a problem or needs treatment. People with this condition often ONLY seek treatment when they experience depression from failed romantic relationships. Medication may be helpful with symptoms such as depression. INI terms of treatment, there are no MEDICATIONS approved to treat the condition but sufferers have shown great improvement after spending time undergoing psychotherapy. Histrionic Personality Disorder can make it difficult to engage in healthy, meaningful relationships with others. So if you believe that the condition is affecting YOU or someone you care about, make an appointment to speak with a mental health professional.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012