Personality disorders that are mental illnesses – 2: Histrionic personality disorder

The manner an individual behaves defines his or her personality. While some people are always cheerful, exuding confidence and adaptability, a few others are aggressive most of the times, often posing significant problems for their relationships and the society. But, whatever be the personality type, every individual is expected to follow the social norms and behave in a particular way, in accordance with one’s social group or culture.

Sadly, some individuals are incapable of exhibiting a socially acceptable behavior owing to certain physical, mental or psychological problems. Such people are believed to be suffering from a personality disorder, such as narcissism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and even schizophrenia.

Officially listed as mental disorders, personality disorders are generally characterized by disturbing behavior patterns, emotional dysregulation, dissociative disorder, etc. The diagnosing guidelines for personality disorders are well defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and in the mental and behavioral disorders section of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Histrionic personality disorder: More common in women

A person diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder acts in a very emotional and dramatic manner, constantly seeking approval or attention, along with self-dramatization, theatricality and striking self-centeredness or sexual seductiveness in inappropriate situations. Clearly, such individuals often face difficulty when criticized or not considered the center of attention.

Interestingly, people diagnosed with a histrionic personality can be successful in jobs that value and require imagination and creativity, owing to their skill of using their physical appearance and enthusiasm to draw other’s attention. According to the experts, the personality disorder is more common n in women than in men.

Histrionic personality disorder has no known causes. However, factors such as genetic vulnerability, child abuse, exposure to some traumatic events or negligence may trigger the development of histrionic personality disorder. Meanwhile, a few experts also believe that the personality disorder could also result from a combination of factors such as biological and genetic factors, social factors, and psychological factors. Moreover, a person diagnosed with the condition may pass it on to the next generation. The best way to diagnose a person with the disorder is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the individual’s family history and to carry out a psychological examination.

Treatment to address the problem

Similar to any other kind of personality disorder, psychotherapy is the first line of treatment for histrionic personality disorder as well. Since such people also face a tough time in their social and personal relationships, it is advisable to seek professional counseling such as psychotherapy. Many people are also provided with medication and further support, depending upon the severity of their condition. Even as the availability of mental health services is important to ensure an overall healthy nation, fighting stigma and seeking treatment is equally essential

Mental illness of any kind requires professional help from counselors and therapists who understand the situation well and have a vast experience in providing accurate treatment. Experts stress on the relevance of innovative researches, which may enable a better understanding of early indicators of psychiatric disorders and susceptibility to mental health problems.

If you feel your beloved is suffering from a personality disorder or any other mental disorder, you can seek help from the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to know more about various mental disorders. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our representatives, who can guide you to the best mental health centers and mental health facilities in your vicinity.

Read the other articles of the series “Personality disorders that are mental illnesses:”

  1. Narcissism