Histrionic Personality Disorder

1609 Words 7 Pages
We have all met a person who always has to be the center of attention and engages in inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior. It may be obvious that something is “off” or not quite “normal” but many do not realize this behavior could be the result of a disorder known as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). According to Paul Rasmussen of Furman University, “an individual with a histrionic orientation displays an active dependency characterized by a strong need for external validation in the form of interpersonal attention, support, and reassurance”. This paper will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment as well as risk factors of Histrionic Personality Disorder. The American Psychiatric …show more content…
According to Harper, “the most obvious characteristic of histrionic patients is their use of denial or dissociative mental operations, which can rewrite history to conform to a more favorable presentation of events, discarding negative and conflictual experiences and feelings in the process” (2004). Another common symptom displayed among those with HPD is being overly concerned with physical appearance and frequently shows self-dramatizations, theatrical behavior, and exaggerated emotions. Those diagnosed with HPD tend to shift emotions rapidly, constantly seek reassurance, are excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval as well as consider relationships to be more intimate than they really are. “Without being aware of it, persons with HPD often act out a roll in their relationships with others. 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” (Bornstein, 1998). A person with HPD may avoid a social encounter when he/she knows that they might be upstaged by another individual out of fear of not being the center of attention. An article published by the American Psychological Association, titled, The Histrionic Prototype, states “individuals with HPD maintain a relative balance on enhancement and preservation that reflects their need for attention and approval” (Rasmussen, 2005). In addition, they are