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Histrionic Personality Disorder

Symptoms and Treatments


Student at her small apartment
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According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, an estimated 30.8 million American adults experience symptoms of at least one personality disorder. Histrionic personality disorder affects approximately 3.8 million (1.8 percent) adults in the United States. The disorder is characterized by shallow emotions, attention-seeking, and manipulative behavior.

Learn more about the symptoms and treatments of histrionic personality disorder.

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder:
  • Display excessive but shallow emotions and attention-seeking behaviors. These individuals are constantly “performing” in order to gain attention.

  • Experience fleeting moods, opinions, and beliefs. They are also very suggestible and quick to respond to fads.

  • Generally need others to witness their emotional displays in order to gain validation or attention.

  • Often display exaggerated symptoms of weakness or illness and may use threats of suicide to manipulate others. Also, many suffering from histrionic personality disorder use sexually provocative behaviors to control others or gain attention.

Treatments for Histrionic Personality Disorder

  • Individuals suffering from histrionic personality disorder are often difficult to treat. They often seek treatment only when the disorder is causing major problems or stress.

  • Psychotherapy can be effective. Group therapy is not recommended since the individual tries to seek attention from group members and exaggerates symptoms.
Further Reading:
Overview of Personality Disorders

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