What is histrionic personality disorder?
Histrionic personality disorder is a condition that causes you to be overly dramatic. You need people to pay attention to you in order to feel good about yourself. You react to minor things with wild swings in emotions.
What is the cause of histrionic personality disorder?
The exact cause of this disorder is not known. Possible causes include:
- The brain produces chemicals that affect thoughts, emotions, and actions. There may be problems with the way you think, feel, or act without the right balance of these chemicals. People with this disorder may have too little or too much of some of these chemicals.
- Stress plays a part. You may be at higher risk due to problems such as abuse, financial stresses, or the death of loved ones.
- Problems in your family when you were growing up may increase your risk. For example if you were rewarded for being dramatic, or if a parent had the disorder.
The disorder usually appears in early adulthood. More women than men have this disorder.
How is histrionic personality disorder diagnosed?
Your doctor or a mental health therapist will ask about your symptoms and any drug or alcohol use. He or she may also:
- Enquire about your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers
- Give you a personality test
- Just make sure that medicines are not causing or increasing your symptoms
You may have lab tests to rule out medical problems.
What are the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder?
Symptoms may include:
- Needing to always be the center of attention
- Acting or dressing sexually to get attention
- Exaggerating every action and reaction
- Getting bored quickly and craving excitement, new places, and new relationships
- Having extreme emotions and sudden mood swings
- Being overly trusting and easily controlled by others
- Believing that relationships are closer than they actually are
How is histrionic personality disorder treated?
This disorder changes the way you relate to others and the way you think about everyday activities. Several types of therapy may help.
- Behavior therapy enables you to recognize that the way you act affects others. This can further help you in changing problem behaviors.
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a way to help you identify and change views you have of yourself, the world, and the future. This can make you aware of unhealthy ways of thinking. It can also help you learn about new thought and behavior patterns.
Medicine is not used to treat this disorder, but may help if you also have problems with anxiety or depression. Your doctor will work with you to select the best medicine.